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Families as Educational SettingsB. Kurtz-Costes, in International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 20012Early ResearchMuch of the early research in family influences on children's educational progress examinedways in which academic outcomes were related to demographic characteristics such as parentmarital status and education, ethnicity, birth order, and socioeconomic status. This early workrevealed consistent, moderate relationships between most of these factors and children'scognitive development. In particular, more positive educational outcomes were found in familieswhere the parents' marriage remained intact, where parents were better educated and had higherincome, and for children who were first- rather than later-born. Psychologists and educators havenoted that such group comparisons, which have been labeled ‘social address’(Bronfenbrenner 1979), are less informative than research which identifies the processesunderlying these group differences. Four categories of process variables are summarized here:parental beliefs, instruction from parents and siblings, structuring of the home environment andfamily life, and parents' behaviors outside the home.Read full chapterA Psychoeducational Program For Parents of Dysfunctional BackgroundsMarvin J. Fine, Katherine F. Wardle, in Handbook of Diversity in Parent Education, 2001SOME GENERALIZATIONS ABOUT CONTEMPORARY PARENTING PROBLEMSSo how might growing up in a dysfunctional family influence a person’s contemporaryparenting? Once again it is important to acknowledge that there is no one narrowly definedpattern of parenting that has been associated with parents who grew up in dysfunctional families.
Because the dysfunctionality plays itself out in different ways, there are likely to be differenteffects on members of that family as they grow up and subsequently assume a parenting role. Insome instances there may appear to be a clear continuation of the pattern that the parentexperienced as a child. An example would be parents who were abused as children now abusingtheir own children. However, there can also be dramatic variations that push the pendulum in theopposite direction. An example would be parents who are so reactive to any implication of abusethat they fail to discipline and set reasonable limits with their children.There are a number of problem patterns or behaviors that have been repeatedly identified in theliterature and reported by parents in the different parenting groups that we have led. Many ofthese patterns follow logically from the earlier depiction of the growing-up experiences of theseparents. The following summarizations of these patterns and behaviors are not in any order offrequency or relevance; they are intended to orient prospective group leaders to the kinds ofissues the participants may be experiencing and which then can be incorporated into the sessions.

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