Research into parent-child relationships is a diverse field of inquiry, attracting investigators from a variety of disciplines and subdisciplines. This book integrates and synthesizes the literature by focusing on issues concerning the parent. The text is organized around four key questions: What determines parental behavior? What are the effects of parenting on children? What makes some parents more effective than others? Why do some parents maltreat their children? George Holden adopts a dynamic rather than a static perspective on parenting. This dynamic approach reflects parents' capacity to modify their behavior as they respond to changes in their children and in their own lives. Throughout the text, historical antecedents as well as methodological and theoretical issues are highlighted. Although the book is designed for advanced courses focusing on the parent child relationship, it also rovides a good overview for those interested in current research concerning parenting.