Why is it important to understand contextual factors, including cohort effects, when researching differences in parenting practices?

You learned in your readings that parenting practices and techniques used to shape child development are influenced by many factors including culture, socioeconomic status, non-normative life events, and cohort effects. To understand cohort effects, consider that the experiences of a child growing up in the 1940s are different in many ways from a child growing up today.

Read the article: Kotchick, B.A. & Forehand, R. (2002). Putting parenting in perspective: A discussion of the contextual factors that shape parenting practices. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 11(3), 255-269.

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Synthesize what you learned in your readings as well as the above article to address the following:

Using the chart/table below, list at least 4 parenting practices of 3 generations. (Note: Parenting practices are not the same as parenting styles, which will be discussed later in the course). You can describe parenting practices of 3 generations of your family members, another family you interview, or general practices of generations based on research you find. For example, how did each generation address issues such as education, extracurricular activities, breastfeeding, sleeping arrangements, religious involvement, etc.? Include brief demographic information (e.g., sex, age, region of the country) Note: 3 different generations means 3 different time periods, not 3 different people.
Now review the chart/table and discuss the following:
How were the parenting practices similar and different between generations?
Explain the concept of cohort effects. What cohort effects (e.g. historical or social events) might have influenced the parenting practices of each generation you described?
Identify and explain contextual factors (other than cohort effects) described by Kotchick and Forehand (2002) that might have influenced the parenting practices of each generation you described.
Why is it important to understand contextual factors, including cohort effects, when researching differences in parenting practices?

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