Parenting in Infancy and Early Childhood

A Focus On Gender Socialization

Authored by: Ashley Smith Leavell , Catherine S. Tamis-LeMonda

Handbook of Family Theories

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  March  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415879453
eBook ISBN: 9780203075180
Adobe ISBN: 9781135118754


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Vygotsky's sociocultural theories of development ignited interest in the role of parents in young children's learning and development (e.g., Rogoff, 2003). Vygotsky's writings diverged from those of Piaget (1932, 1952) by shifting focus from intra-psychological processes of learning and development to interpersonal processes. This sociocultural revolution was also echoed in the writings of Bruner (1991, 1992), Wertsch (1991), and Luria (1976), who commonly highlighted the importance of social and cultural contexts in the co-construction of knowledge. However, much developmental research from this sociocultural tradition has focused on dyadic interactions—most notably young children's interactions with their mothers (and in rare instances, fathers). Children's early development is the product of multiple converging forces within the larger family system, and even though direct interactions between parents and children are a powerful force in early development, indirect influences should also be considered.

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