Parenting and Caregiving

Few would take issue with the importance of parenting in the lives of children, and with the parental role as a salient facet of adult identity and development. Parents’ levels of involvement with children, their attitudes about child rearing, actual parenting practices, and the emotional climate parents create for their children, have each been linked in important ways with child development from infancy through adulthood. Parenting is nested within family, community, and societal/cultural systems and is influenced by factors that are both proximal and distal to the individual. As children grow to adulthood, they often continue to receive help from parents and in turn begin to give assistance. When aged parents develop disabilities, children may provide extensive assistance, often at considerable personal sacrifice.


We have a diverse group of HDFS faculty who study parenting and caregiving in relation to children, families, older adults and larger systems. Faculty research focuses on parenting and its effects on other family processes, psycho-physiological correlates of parenting, emotion regulation in parents and parenting quality, parenting and psychopathology, the effects of particular parenting behavior on children, parenting and gender socialization, the effects of daily stressors and supports on parenting quality, parenting as influenced by the nature and quality of work environments, parenting and family policy, parenting in immigrant families, fatherhood and its unique impact on families and children, daily stressors and health of family caregivers of older adults and interventions to promote parenting and caregiving quality and to reduce stress.

HDFS faculty who study parenting and caregiving include:

David Almeida - Daily stress processes; family factors in mental health; work and family linkages; fatherhood

Mayra Bamaca -Parent-adolescent relationships in immigrant families; family factors associated with adolescent development and adjustment.

Nan Crouter - Interrelationships of parents' employment situations, family processes, and children's and adolescent's social development

David Eggebeen - Social demography of children; intergenerational support over the lifecourse; fatherhood

Susan McHale - Family relationships and family roles (particularly gender roles) in childhood and adolescence; differential socialization of siblings

Doug Teti - Early socioemotional development and attachment; parenting, infant sleep quality, and infant development; parents' emotion regulation; early intervention

Steve Zarit - Family care of older adults, interventions to reduce stress among family caregivers, patterns of help across generations, international comparisons of family and formal care of older adults.