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Heredity, Family, and InequalityA Critique of Social Sciences$
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Michael Beenstock

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780262016926

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262016926.001.0001

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Parenting Theory and Child behavior

Parenting Theory and Child behavior

(p.341) 9 Parenting Theory and Child behavior
Heredity, Family, and Inequality

Michael Beenstock

The MIT Press

This chapter examines the relationship between parenting and child behavior by focusing on the Quality vs. Quantity Theory. After providing an overview of the Quality vs. Quantity Theory, it describes how parents discriminate between their children and how children react to discrimination by their parents. It then proposes a simple model in which children’s happiness is determined by parental attention. It also considers an asymmetric game, dubbed the Heartstrings Game or the Crying Game, whereby children, especially infants, do not show altruism toward their parents, even as their parents are altruistic toward them. It extends the Heartstrings Game to sibling rivalry and favoritism by parents. Finally, the chapter discusses a theory of child development in which parents trade off parenting today with parenting in the future.

Keywords:   parenting, child behavior, Quality vs. Quantity Theory, children, parents, sibling rivalry, Heartstrings Game, child development, altruism, attention

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