Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950565 | Print ISBN: 9780761928201 | Online ISBN: 9781412950565| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Linda R. Cote & Marc H. Bornstein
Although many Americans adhere to the belief that parenting (and mothering especially) is instinctual, decades of research have shown that much of parenting is not (at least not for human beings). Many aspects of parenting are learned by observing others or by trial and error “on the job,” by practicing the art of parenting. Although parents learn through a variety of methods, parent education is typically achieved through exposure to many sources, including the culture; child-rearing books; mass media (magazines, television, videotapes, the Internet); home visits by parent educators; informal discussion with other parents, relatives, or friends, or more formal parenting classes; and the medical establishment, to name a few. However, for applied developmental scientists, the term parent education typically denotes formal parenting classes. This entry describes why formal parent education programs have grown in recent decades, discusses the types of parents who participate in parent education programs, identifies In ...