Three Utah State University researchers have co-authored a book that will help put parents in charge of their children’s development.
Developmental Parenting: A Guide for Early Childhood Practitioners draws from more than 12 years of collaboration and research by Drs. Lori Roggman, Lisa Boyce and Mark Innocenti. In its pages, professionals who work with infants and toddlers can learn to guide parents into the warm, supportive and communicative behavior that fosters learning.
Their book focuses on teaching professionals in the field to work through the parent.
“It’s not just giving the mom advice, it’s not just working with the child,” Boyce said.
Instead the authors teach professionals to treat the parent-and-child relationship as a single entity and build on that relationship to set and reach goals, she said.
The model also teaches early interventionists to be sensitive to a family’s cultural background: a theme that crops up often in the research conducted by the three coauthors. They have studied the development of language and literacy in young children and developed a checklist of parenting behaviors that contribute to a child’s readiness to learn. They have collected data from a broad range of families and ethnic backgrounds.
“More than a ‘how to’ guide, it’s a ‘how come’ guide, providing a compelling empirical and theoretical background to developmental parenting,” Dr. Jon Korfmacher wrote in a review of the work. He is from the Erikson Institute in Chicago, Illinois.
All three of the book’s authors are affiliated with the Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities’ Early Intervention Research Institute. Roggman is a professor in the Family, Consumer and Human Development department.