The social context of parenting: mothers’ inner resources and social structures

Publication type

Journal Article

Published in

Research Papers in Education


Dimitra Hartas

Publication date


Parenting occurs within families and communities and is shaped by
parents’ internal resources and the structures that surround their life.
Utilising a large national data-set, Understanding Society, this
study examined the extent to which variation in mothers’ personality,
cognitive ability and well-being, as well as structural and background
factors is associated with affective and dialogic parenting and homework
support. The findings revealed that psychosocial and structural factors
had differential effects on aspects of parenting. Although mothers’
well-being, personality and cognitive factors exerted small-to-modest
effects, filial and neighbourhood interactions and background factors
emerged as strong predictors for affective and dialogic parenting and
homework support. These findings have implications considering that
families’ social contexts, in the form of social support networks and
neighbourhood connectedness, are shrinking in the face of global
recession and disappearing national resources and public services.

Volume and page numbers

30, 609-634





Area Effects, Social Networks, Psychology, Child Development, Households, Childbearing: Fertility, Well Being and Social Capital