ERIC Number: ED353037
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992
Reference Count: N/A
The Family Crucible and Healthy Child Development.
Hamburg, David A.
This essay examines the challenges that today's children and families face due to the rapidly changing nature of modern society, and suggests some solutions to help ensure the optimal development of children and adolescents. Rapid technological change, the decline of the extended family, the increased number of women in the workplace, and increasing incidences of divorce, single parenthood, and substance abuse have transformed American society in the late 20th century, making parenting both more difficult and more complex. To help parents cope with these challenges, government, health care institutions, schools, and voluntary organizations need to cooperate to provide a network of supportive health, educational, and social services that are available to families with children and adolescents in all communities. These services should include: (1) enriched prenatal care; (2) well-baby care; (3) good-quality day care; (4) family support organizations that build parental competence; and (5) youth agencies and organizations that provide young people with recreational activities and teach a variety of basic life skills. While the costs of such policies may be considerable, the social and economic costs of not implementing them, in the form of lost productivity, increased health care and welfare costs, rising prison populations, and growing social discord, will be even greater. Contains 45 references. (MDM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Carnegie Corp. of New York, NY.