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ERIC Number: ED127010
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Changing Concepts of Childrearing, 1920s - 1950s: Parental Research, Parental Guidance, Social Issues.
Borstelmann, L. J.
This paper from the 1976 Southeastern Conference on Human Development is an overview of the attitudes that have influenced the research and writings on childrearing form 1920 to 1950. The content of articles in popular periodicals on infants and child care for mothers is reviewed in relation to the themes and scientific movements of the period. Concern about good moral training, a dominant theme around 1900, had disappeared by the 1920s, and was replaced by an emphasis on proper health conditions and strict discipline. The writings of Emmett Holt and John B. Watson advocating strict regimes of behavioral control dominated childrearing philosophy at a time when society looked to science as a social as well as technological instrument. By the 1940s a third major stage in maternal models emerged into prominence. This model was characterized by a preoccupation with personality development, with a particular emphasis on the importance of emotional security provided by parental "tender loving care." This return to more natural influences reflected a basic conception of child development which considered the child to possess positive growth forces. The New Deal and the upheaval of family life during World War II fostered a compassionate, responsible societal attitude towards its children. The nature-nurture controversy was of interest to child development specialists throughout the period discussed. (Author/SB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Southeastern Conference on Human Development (4th, Nashville, Tennessee, April 15-17, 1976)