Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/10620/18022
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dc.contributor.authorSmyth, Ciaraen
dc.contributor.authorSmyth, Cen
dc.date.accessioned2019-04-13T03:40:24Zen
dc.date.accessioned2014-03-31T05:29:31Zen
dc.date.available2014-03-31T05:29:31Zen
dc.date.issued2013-11en
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/10620/18022en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10620/3959en
dc.description.abstractIt is argued that expectations of mothers intensified over the course of the twentieth century, culminating in an ideology of intensive mothering. This intensification corresponds with the broadening of parents’ remit to encompass responsibility for children’s cognitive development. Although this responsibility was enshrined in parenting advice materials by the 1960s, ‘new brain research’ in the 1990s emphasised the importance of the early years for optimising children’s cognitive development. In this thesis, I explore whether, why and how Australian parents try to foster their children’s cognitive development in the preschool years and I follow two lines of inquiry. The first examines cultural messages communicated to parents concerning their responsibility for fostering their preschool child’s cognitive development through a content analysis of a sample of Australian parenting publications and an Australian government-funded parenting website. The findings indicate that the message that parents are responsible for fostering their child’s cognitive development in the preschool years pervades the analysed content and that it is directed predominantly at mothers. The second line of inquiry explores whether parents accept responsibility for fostering their preschool child’s cognitive development, how and why they enact this responsibility. The methods employed to meet this aim are qualitative interviews with parents of preschool-aged children and a quantitative analysis of a nationally representative data set. The interview findings suggest that most parents feel responsible for fostering their child’s cognitive development to some degree in the preschool years, which they pursue through three key strategies: ‘parenting for cognitive development’, outsourcing for cognitive development, and ‘concerted cultivation’. Parents’ concern about their child’s cognitive development also factored into decisions concerning: school starting age; school choice; and TV viewing. The quantitative findings correspond broadly with the qualitative interview findings, suggesting that the parenting practices identified through the interviews may apply in the wider population. This study argues that early years parenting in Australia has become increasingly cognitively-focussed. Parents are subject to the expectation that they should foster their child’s cognitive development in the preschool years and the majority have accepted and responded to this expectation. This expectation demands intensive parenting practices, and it is directed at and shouldered by mothers to a far greater extent than fathers.en
dc.subjectChild Development -- Cognitiveen
dc.subjectChildren -- Preschoolen
dc.subjectFamilies -- Parents and Parentingen
dc.titleFostering children’s cognitive development in the preschool years: the message and the uptakeen
dc.typeTheses and student dissertationsen
dc.identifier.urlhttps://www.sprc.unsw.edu.au/research/postgraduate-research/profiles/ciara-smyth/en
dc.identifier.surveyLSACen
dc.description.institutionUniversity of New South Walesen
dc.description.keywordspreschoolen
dc.description.keywordsparentingen
dc.description.keywordscognitive developmenten
dc.description.keywordsintensive parentingen
dc.description.pages342en
local.identifier.id4434en
dc.identifier.departmentSocial Policy Research Centreen
dc.identifier.emailCiara Smyth - c.smyth@unsw.edu.auen
dc.identifier.researchtypeMixed methodsen
dc.identifier.studenttypePhDen
dc.subject.dssChildhood and child developmenten
dc.subject.dssFamilies and relationshipsen
dc.subject.dssmaincategoryChild Developmenten
dc.subject.dssmaincategoryFamiliesen
dc.subject.dssmaincategoryChildrenen
dc.subject.dsssubcategoryPreschoolen
dc.subject.dsssubcategoryCognitiveen
dc.subject.dsssubcategoryParents and Parentingen
dc.subject.flosseFamilies and relationshipsen
dc.subject.flosseChildhood and child developmenten
dc.relation.surveyLSACen
dc.old.surveyvalueLSACen
item.openairetypeTheses and student dissertations-
item.fulltextNo Fulltext-
item.openairecristypehttp://purl.org/coar/resource_type/c_18cf-
item.grantfulltextnone-
item.cerifentitytypePublications-
Appears in Collections:Theses and student dissertations
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