Introduction. Part I. Family Type. Number of Parents: One versus Two? Fathers: Present or Not? Genetic Ties: Related or Not? Parents' Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual or Homosexual? Part II. Family Relationships. Quality of Relationships between Parents and Children. Quality of Marriage and Parents' Psychological State. Children's Individual Characteristics and their Wider Social World. Parenting: What Really Counts? References.
Parenting: What Really Counts? examines the scientific evidence on what really matters for children's healthy psychological development.The first section considers whether it is necessary to have two parents, a father present, parents who have a genetic link with their child, or parents who are heterosexual. Section two explores the psychological processes that underlie optimal development for children, particularly the quality of the child's relationship with parents, other family members and the wider social world. Contrary to common assumptions, Susan Golombok concludes that family structure makes little difference to children's day-to-day experiences of life.As well as for students, researchers and teachers, Parenting: What really counts? will be of great interest to parents and those thinking of embarking on a non-traditional route to parenthood. It will also be welcomed by professionals working with families and those involved in the development of family policy.