COM 597 Research in Family Communication

Spring, 2012










Questions for the Discussion of Parenting

HFC Reading 5 Becoming Parents

**1. Quite a bit of research shows that marital satisfaction declines with parenthood. What do Huston and Holmes say about this research? So, is the transition to parenting a "crisis" event or not?

2. How equal is the distribution of child care responsibilities in most marriages? What influences this distribution?

HFC Chapter 13: Mothers and Father Parenting Together (Jillian)

1. “Belsky in 1981 proposed parenting was influenced by multiple systems: Parent, marital, and child subsystems” (p.270). According to what you know about systems theory, do you find this to be true? And if so, how can you validate Belsky’s claim that the marital relationship is “the most important support system for parents”.

2. What is the significance of McHale’s analyses of co-parenting on the dimensions of hostility/competition versus harmony and on balance in involvement? (p.271)

3. Belsky, Crnic, and Gable’s (1995) found, “The more mother and fathers differed on characteristics of introversion and extraversion, the more likely they were to engage in unsupportive co-parenting behaviors” (p.271). What observations of your own support (or refute) this finding on co-parenting behavior?

4. How does a parent’s behavior play a role in the three family group patterns? (Oppositional/ Nonrestrictive/Cohesive) (p.272)

5. Doherty and Beaton describe their model as simplistic, however they “omit cohabitating relationships” and lump them into being married because of commitment level (p.275). Do you think their full explanation of their actions was justified? And do you think the model does in fact, “capture key elements of the four conceptual frameworks” (p.275)?

AF Chapter 23 (Ellen)

1. Raley says that the context of teen child bearing is often existing, ingrained poverty (pg 339). She makes the claim that "motherhood may be the only way that an impoverished girl can envision having a future, or a measure of control in her life." (pg. 339) In what ways might motherhood provide a future or a measure of control to an impoverished teenager?

2. The U.S. teen birthrate remains the highest in the industrialized world, as this diagram <> from Wikipedia indicates. If it's not for the welfare check, why might more American teens be having children than teens in other countries?

3. Is teenage child bearing a legitimate concern? And if so, are Raley's suggestions of education, integration and job opportunities in impoverished areas, and anti-racism promotion, valid ways of discouraging teenage childbearing?

AF Chapter 25 (Ellen)

1. What does Pugh mean by "windfall childrearing"?

2. What standards did your community set for you to have a "good enough childhood"?

3. Thinking about your own childhood and your relationship with your parents, in what ways were/are they shaped by the presence or absence of money? How has your parents' influence regarding money shaped what you (plan to) teach and model for your own (future) kids?

4. Is consumption a good lens through which to understand parenting? Why or why not?