How do personal networks evolve and what roles do they play for parents, and for the development of children? Can these ties with relatives, neighbours, and friends provide stability for family members during periods of disruption caused by divorce, unemployment, geographic dislocation or serious illness? How do networks change over time? To what extent are network members interchangeable; can unrelated friends take the place of close relatives? These are among the questions addressed in Extending Families, a ground-breaking study about how personal networks evolve, and what roles they play for parents and for the development of children. The volume is an outgrowth of a ten-year cooperative research effort carried out by the authors as part of the Comparative Ecology of Human Development Project at Cornell University. In this comprehensive and integrated volume, Moncrieff Cochran and his colleagues document and compare the roles network members play in the lives of African-American and Caucasian parents in the United States, and parents in Sweden, Wales and West Germany.
They then go beyond those descriptive comparisons to consider, within a larger ecological framework, the ways that networks change over time, and the impact of different network resources on the perceptions and behaviour of developing individuals. The impacts on parents' networks of participation in a community-based family support programme are examined, and a more general discussion of how public policies might strengthen access to informal social supporters is also provided. Moncrieff Cochran draws on this unique body of research in the concluding chapters of the volume to offer a new, integrated conception of how personal networks develop, and how they affect and are affected by development. In his foreword to this book, Urie Bronfenbrenner remarks that this conception provides the framework for a new approach to the scientific study of social networks and their implications for policy and practice'. Extending Families will be of special interest to family and urban sociologists, developmental and community psychologists, and other working in the areas of family policy, family studies, and human development.
"...a major contribution to the empirical and theoretical work on social networks. Any researcher interested in the intersection of families, children, and social networks should read it." Contemporary Sociology "...presents a model for understanding the development of personal networks. An important addition to the literature on family studies and human development." Choice "Does the book make a significant contribution to the field? Is it likely to exert an impact on research in human development? Does it bear careful and repeated readings? On all these counts, yes. I think it will have staying-power in the field...tantalizing ideas that others may be challenged to explore and develop." Human Development "...a comprehensive and integrated volume exploring the social networks of parents and children. Blending research, description, and commentary, the team aids the reader in better understanding the power and complexity of networks in people's lives...[includes] substantial resources from cross-cultural studies...will be a boon to family practitioners who want grounding for their work in community building. Children, adults, and elders will be enriched if we take seriously their data." Ted Bowman, Family Forum, the newsletter of the Minnesota Council on Family Relations "Extending Families is a monumental example of the best in social network research...[T]he book is impressive in the care and detail of the presentation...[E]ssential reading for any teacher or researcher interested in the mother-child relationship, the social world of the single-parent family, the influences of culture and SES on patterns of social relatedness, extra-familial influences on child development, or the methodoological detail necessary to chart the factors that form the structures of social networks...[S]tands as a sterling example of careful, scholarly research and is destined to become a new classic in the field of social network research." Steven R. Daugherty, Contemporary Psychology
Series: Social Networks of Parents and Their Children
Number Of Pages: 468
Published: 26th July 1993
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.2
Weight (kg): 0.62