Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal

, Volume 20, Issue 6, pp 437–472 | Cite as

Context-Based Parenting in Infancy: Background and Conceptual Issues

  • Terri Combs-Orme
  • Elizabeth E. Wilson
  • Daphne S. Cain
  • Timothy Page
  • Laura D. Kirby


Infancy is a sensitive period during which parenting is crucial to healthy development, and inadequate parenting may have serious and longlasting effects for children's health and development. While many domains of parenting have been widely studied, the specific daily practices involved in caring for infants have not been well researched, particularly outside the context of clinical settings for parents with recognized problems in parenting. This manuscript reviews and discusses the essential aspects of parenting infants, taking into account the essential developmental tasks of infants from birth to age one and using a comprehensive framework developed by Bradley and Caldwell (1995). Literature and research from pediatrics, nursing, psychology, human ecology, child development, and child and family studies are highlighted to illustrate what is known about the parenting of infants. Explication and exploration of the full range of parenting tasks with infants may serve as a foundation for social work research in a number of areas, including specific areas of neglectful parenting with infants and interventions for a range of parenting problems.

Infants Parenting Infant Development Child Development 


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Terri Combs-Orme
    • 1
  • Elizabeth E. Wilson
    • 1
  • Daphne S. Cain
    • 2
  • Timothy Page
    • 2
  • Laura D. Kirby
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Tennessee College of Social Work and Children's Mental Health Services Research CenterKnoxville
  2. 2.Louisiana State University College of Social WorkUSA

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