Keepin' on: The Everyday Struggles of Young Families in Poverty

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P.H. Brookes, 2006 - Education - 363 pages
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The result of a 5-year research project conducted in one major American city, this fascinating book is a vivid journey into the lives of nine young African-American mothers facing issues related to single parenthood and poverty. What are their strengths and challenges as parents? How are their families affected by frequent transitions between homes, jobs, and significant others? What is their experience with Early Head Start? What can other programs learn from their stories? The authors answer these and other questions, taking early childhood professionals on an evolving tour through these women's lives and giving readers in-depth, qualitative portraits they can use to inform their own work. Readers will

  • examine the influences of factors within the family, such as the childrearing beliefs and practices, the mothers' relationships with their parents, and the involvement of fathers

  • explore the impact of interactions outside the family, including relationships with friends, neighbors, and home visitors

  • learn about cultural and societal forces that support or hinder each family's well-being

  • get to know one mother, Andreya, through an extensive case study that examines her relationships, social influences, triumphs, and challenges

Readers will also reflect on implications and lessons learned from the study, with the aid of expert commentary on research, practice, and policy. An essential resource for any early childhood professional, this compelling book gives readers critical insight into the many complex factors that affect any intervention with families in poverty.

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The Background
Introducing the Mothers
Theoretical Perspectives and Research Methods

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About the author (2006)

Dr. Fine was Editor of Family Relations from 1993 to 1996 and Editor of the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships from 1999 to 2004. His research interests lie in the areas of family transitions such as divorce and remarriage, early intervention program evaluation, social cognition, and relationship stability. He was co-editor, with David Demo and Katherine Allen, of Handbook of Family Diversity (Oxford University Press, 2000). He has published almost 200 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and books. He co-authored, with John Harvey, Children of Divorce: Stories of Hope and Loss (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2004), and he co-edited, with John Harvey, The Handbook of Divorce and Relationship Dissolution (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2005). In 2000, Dr. Fine was selected as a Fellow of the National Council on Family Relations.

Dr. Ispa has been on the faculty of the University of Missouri–Columbia since 1978. She has taught courses on child development, early childhood education, the history of the family in Russia, and, most recently, on the causes and consequences of poverty for U.S. children and families. Her research interests include the implications of culture for parenting and child development, children's social development, and child-rearing and family relationships in families with low income. Her previous book, Child Care in Russia: In Transition (Bergin & Garvey, 1994), described child-rearing philosophy and practice in six Moscow child care centers shortly before the collapse of the Soviet government. Dr. Ispa also is the author of journal articles on African American, European American, Latino, and Russian parents' and teachers' child-rearing ideas and behaviors and their implications for children's development.

Dr. Thornburg has been teaching and working in the area of early childhood education for 40 years. Her experience includes teaching preschoolers and third graders and directing early childhood programs for children ranging in age from 6 weeks to 10 years. She taught child development and child and family policy courses at the Universities of Kentucky and Missouri for 36 years. Dr. Thornburg serves on numerous state, regional, and national boards, councils, and commissions. From 2000 to 2002 she was president of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. She has published more than 100 research articles, book chapters, and books. Her research has appeared in journals such as Early Childhood Education Journal, Educational and Psychological Measurement, Early Childhood Research Quarterly, and Educational Research Quarterly. Her research interests include public policy issues relating to early childhood programs, early childhood teacher training, and teacher turnover.

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