Parenting and Parenthoodas Research Domains



The article presents an analysis of a number of publications which concern the modern socio-cultural situation and its consequences on contemporary parenthood. The constructs "parenthood" and "parenting" are presented the first one refers to a social role of an adult with a child in relation to other social roles and the latter with the process of child rearing. The major social trends are presented: Contemporary parenthood is analyzed and problematized due to the nature of modern challenges faced by educated parents. The following trends are discussed: erosion of understandable, clearly presented stereotypes and patterns of child rearing in the family, increase of variability of practices of child-parent interaction, growth of supply on the market of goods and services. All these major social trends bring to the sunset of "natural" parenthood and the decision to have a child turns to be a consciously planned strategy. The article shows that the appeal to expert knowledge in child rearing which is characteristic of postmodern era leads to new uncertainties due to the variety of inconsistent advice and expertise. Discussion of the transformations experienced by the family shows the transition from child-centered to adult-centered pattern. Thus, the conclusion is that contemporary parenting takes place against many (conscious and unconscious) contradictions, particularly between the growing importance of the values of self-realization and commitment and the value of parenthood. This contradiction brings to stress and anxiety which in turn damages the perception of oneself as a parent. The growth of interest in the study of parental identity and self-efficacy is considered to be a promising direction of research.

General Information

Keywords: parenthood, parenting, contemporary family, contemporary social trends

Journal rubric: Developmental Psychology

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Polivanova K.N. Parenting and Parenthoodas Research Domains [Elektronnyi resurs]. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie [Psychological Science and Education], 2015. Vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 1–11. DOI: 10.17759/psyedu.2015070301. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Katerina N. Polivanova, Doctor of Psychology, Director of Contemporary Childhood Research Center, Institute of Education, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Professor at the Chair of Developmental Psychology by L.F. Obukhova, Department of Psychology of Education, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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