The Importance of Families and Home Environments in the Lives of Young Children

Robert H. Bradley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


This chapter summarizes what is known about relations between parenting and young children’s well-being. A. Lareau found that in middle-class families, there is often a pattern of “concerted cultivation” of children’s social and cognitive development through on-going, structured encounters with people and things and through deliberate involvement in enriching activities. The chapter utilizes the Seven Ss of Effective Caregiving framework to organize a discussion of research that primarily addresses how parenting and household conditions are implicated in children’s development. The “Seven Ss of Effective Caregiving” are, as follows: provide sustenance; assure safety; provide stimulation; generate socioemotional support; provide structure; engage in surveillance; and facilitate social integration. The chapter reviews the vast majority of studies that pertain to the behavior of parents and to the conditions present in children’s home environments. The children are active agents in their own development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Wiley Handbook of Early Childhood Care and Education
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9781119148104
ISBN (Print)9781119148067
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Active agents
  • Cognitive development
  • Effective caregiving framework
  • Home environments
  • Middle-class families
  • Young children

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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