Polivanova N. Ph.D. in Psychology, Leading researcher, Federal public scientific institution “Psychological institute” of the Russian Academy of Education, laboratory of psychological bases of new educational technologies, Moscow, Russia, VChernenilov@gmail.com
The article presents an analysis of a number of publications which concern the modern socio-cultural situation and its consequences on contemporary parenthood. The constructs "parenthood" and "parenting" are presented:. the first one refers to a social role of an adult with a child in relation to other social roles and the latter with the process of child rearing. The major social trends are presented: Contemporary parenthood is analyzed and problematized due to the nature of modern challenges faced by educated parents. The following trends are discussed: erosion of understandable, clearly presented stereotypes and patterns of child rearing in the family, increase of variability of practices of child-parent interaction, growth of supply on the market of goods and services. All these major social trends bring to the sunset of "natural" parenthood and the decision to have a child turns to be a consciously planned strategy. The article shows that the appeal to expert knowledge in child rearing which is characteristic of postmodern era leads to new uncertainties due to the variety of inconsistent advice and expertise. Discussion of the transformations experienced by the family shows the transition from child-centered to adult-centered pattern. Thus, the conclusion is that contemporary parenting takes place against many (conscious and unconscious) contradictions, particularly between the growing importance of the values of self-realization and commitment and the value of parenthood. This contradiction brings to stress and anxiety which in turn damages the perception of oneself as a parent. The growth of interest in the study of parental identity and self-efficacy is considered to be a promising direction of research.
Keywords: parenthood, parenting, contemporary family, contemporary social trends
Boulbi Dzh. Privyazannost' [Attachment]. Moscow: Gardariki, 2003. 477
Zakharova E.I. Predstavlenie o kharaktere sotsial'noi roli, kak sredstvo
orientirovki v ee ispolnenii [Performance of nature of the social role, as an
orientation and realization tools]. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya
psikhologiya [Cultural-historical psychology], 2012, no.4, pp.38–41.
(In Russ., abstr. in Engl.).
Zakharova E.I. Usloviya stanovleniya negativnogo otnosheniya sovremennykh
zhenshchin k materinskoi roli [Conditions of formation of a negative attitude
to the modern women's maternal roles]. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya
psikhologiya [Cultural-historical psychology], 2015, no.1, pp.44–49.
(In Russ., abstr. in Engl.).
Knorr-Tsetina K. Sotsial'nost' i ob"ekty. Sotsial'nye otnosheniya v
postsotsial'nykh obshchestvakh znaniya [Society and objects. Social relations
in postsocial knowledge societies]. In Vakhshtain V. (ed.) Sotsiologiya
veshchei [The sociology of things]. Moscow, 2006, pp. 267–307.
Lantsburg M.E. Rol' psikhologicheskoi podgotovki i podderzhki v realizatsii
roditel'skikh funktsii [the role of psychological training and support in the
implementation of parent functions]. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i
obrazovanie [Psychological science and education], 2011, no. 1, pp.
15-26. (In Russ., abstr. in Engl.).
Maiofis M., Kukulin I. Novoe roditel'stvo i ego politicheskie aspekty [New
parenthood and its psychological aspects]. Pro et contra [Pro et
contra], 2010. Vol.14, no. 1-2, pp. 6–19.
N'yufel'd G., Mate G. Ne upuskaite svoikh detei [Don’t miss your children].
Moscow: Resors, 2012. 384 p.
Zabaev I. V. (eds.) Sem'ya i detorozhdenie v Rossii: Kategorii
roditel'skogo soznaniya [Family in Russia]. Moscow: Pravoslav.
Svyato-Tikhonov. gumanitar. un-t., 2012. 223 p,
Solov'eva E.V. O materinskom otnoshenii k detyam rannego vozrasta, zachatym
posredstvom ekstrakorporal'nogo oplodotvoreniya [Elektronnyi resurs] [Maternal
attitude towards young children conceived through in vitro fertilization].
Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie PSYEDU.ru [Psychological
Science and Education PSYEDU.ru], 2013, no. 4. Available at:
(Accessed 23.09.2015). (In Russ., abstr. in Engl.).
Uebster F. Teorii informatsionnogo obshchestva [Theories of information
society]. Moscow: Aspect Press, 2004. 400 p.
Filippova G.G. Materinstvo: sravnitel'no-psikhologicheskii podkhod
[Motherhood : a comparative psychological approach]. Psikhologicheskii
zhurnal [Psychological Journal], 1998, no. 5, pp. 81 — 88. (In
Russ., abstr. in Engl.).
Arendell T. Conceiving and investigating motherhood: The decade's
scholarship. Journal of Marriage and Family, 2000. Vol.
62, no. 4, pp. 1192–1207.
Bandura A. Self-efficacy: toward a unifying theory of behavioral
change. Psychological Review, 1977. Vol. 84, no. 2, pp. 191–215.
Datan N., Ginsberg L.H. (ed.) Life-Span Developmental Psychology: Normative
Life Crises. Elsevier, 2013. 321 p.
Dex S., Joshi H., Macran S. A widening gulf among Britain's mothers.
Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 1996, pp. 65–75.
Elkind D. Ties that Stress: The New Family Imbalance. Harvard: Harvard
University Press, 2009. 253 p.
Gatrell C. Hard Labour: The Sociology of Parenthood. McGraw-Hill:
McGraw-Hill Education (UK), 2004. 400 p.
Gillespie R. Childfree and feminine Understanding the gender identity of
voluntarily childless women. Gender and Society, 2003.
Vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 122–136.
Hays S. The Cultural Contradictions of Motherhood. Yale: University Press,
Yale, 1996. 288 p.
Johnson S., O'Connor E. The Gay Baby Boom: The Psychology of Gay
Parenthood. New-York: NYU Press, 2002. 280 p.
Lüscher K. Postmodern societies-postmodern families. The Family.
Contemporary Perspectives and Challenges, 1998, pp. 181–194.
Luxton M., Bezanson K. Social Reproduction: Feminist Political Economy
Challenges Neo-Liberalism. Montreal: McGill-Queen's Press-MQUP, 2006. 323
Oechsle M., Zoll R. Young people and their ideas on parenthood .European
Parents in the 1990s: Contradictions and Comparisons. New Brunswic, New Jersey.
Trasaction Publishers, 1991, pp. 45 – 58.
Rossi A. S. Transition to parenthood. Journal of Marriage and the
Family, 1968. Vol. 30, no. 1 (Feb., 1968), pp. 26–39.
Wall G. Mothers' experiences with intensive parenting and brain development
discourse. Women's Studies International Forum.Pergamon,
2010. Vol. 33, no. 3, pp. 253–263.