Any parent who has raised more than one child is likely to be keenly aware of subtle or even striking differences among their offspring. The central premise of this volume is that children bring personal qualities to their relationships with other family members that help shape family interaction, relationships, and even processes that family researchers have called "parenting." The chapters address how children's personal qualities make their mark on families in ways that may in turn influence children's subsequent development.

The volume is based on the presentations and discussions from a national symposium on "Children's influence on family dynamics: The neglected side of family relationships" held at the Pennsylvania State University, as the ninth in a series of annual interdisciplinary symposia focused on family issues. It is divided into four parts, each dealing with a different aspect of the topic. Part I sets the stage by focusing on the features of children that make a difference, as well as the kinds of research designs that are likely to shed light on the role of child influences. Part II focuses on early childhood, particularly the role of infant temperament and other individual differences in very young children in shaping their parents' behaviors, reactions in turn that feedback and influence the developing child. Part III focuses on adolescence, a time when young people are able to exert more choice in how they spend their time and who they spend it with. Part IV pulls the themes of the volume together and points the way for future research.

part I|2 pages

PART I What Features of Children Shape

chapter 1|24 pages

Child Effects on Family Systems: Behavioral Genetic Strategies

ByDavid Reiss

chapter 2|10 pages

On the Meaning of Models: A Signal Amidst the Noise

ByKathleen McCartney

chapter 3|12 pages

Are We Finally Ready to Move Beyond “Nature vs. Nurture”?

ByXiaojia Ge, M. Brent Donnellan, Lawrence Harper

chapter 4|6 pages

How to Spin Straw Into Gold

ByJ. Richard Udry

part II|2 pages

PART II What Role Does Infant and Early Childhood

part III|2 pages

PART III What Roles Do Adolescents Play in Actively

chapter 9|32 pages

Parenting of Adolescents: Action or Reaction?

ByMargaret Kerr, Håkan Stattin

chapter 10|10 pages

On the Brink: Stability and Change in Parent-Child Relations in Adolescence

ByElizabeth G. Menaghan

chapter 11|8 pages

Parental Monitoring: Action and Reaction

ByGene H. Brody

part IV|2 pages

PART IV How Do Children Affect Parents’ Marriage and

chapter 15|14 pages

How Do Children Exert an Impact on Family Life?

BySusan M. McHale, Ann C. Crouter

chapter 17|2 pages

Reply to Stattin – Kerr Critique

ByEleanor E. Maccoby

chapter 19|16 pages

Child Effects as Family Process

ByLilly Shanahan, Juliana M. Sobolewski