Investigating parenthood for young teenagers: Background, theoretical perspectives and empirical examples

Agnes Andenæs, Anne Jansen, Anita Sundnes, Anja Hvidtfeldt Stanek

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Current cultural understandings of adolescence are often engraved with serious concerns, having to do with e.g. school dropout, drug abuse, gaming and increased occurrence of psychological problems as depression and selfmutilation. These topics also interest researchers within psychology. Traditionally, models of developmental psychology have described the period of adolescence in general terms; as a time of increased independence and detachment from parents, and as a period of turmoil. While there is substantial research on parenting for small children, less has been done on parenting for older children, probably partly due to this idea of the parents’ diminishing role in the adolescents’ lives.

In the workshop we will explore ways to understand and investigate parenthood for young teenagers. Rather than constructing this period as totally different from other periods in children’s lives, our approach is to see what comes out of applying analytical perspectives that have been successfully used in studies of parenthood for younger children. How do parents arrange for young girls and boys in ways that both safeguard their wellbeing in the present and support further development towards adult life? This is, then, our outset for exploring parenthood within a cultural psychology framework, using concepts as conduct of everyday life (Dreier, 2016), doing parenthood, practices of continuous care, and variational modes of thinking (Valsiner, 1984). We will present examples from a study following such lines, designed to get knowledge of how parenting for “bigger children” is performed and understood by the parents. The data material consists of detailed interviews with Norwegian and Danish parents in families with children 13-14 years of age, about the everyday life of their child and family. In the workshop we will invite the audience to discuss the need for this kind of knowledge in different fields of professional practices, and open up for cooperation.
Translated title of the contributionUdforskning af forældreskab til unge: Baggrund, teoretiske perspektiver og empiriske eksempler
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event1st International Conference on Children and Youth in Everyday Life and Professional Practices - Oslo Metropolitan University, Oslo, Norway
Duration: 19. Jun 201921. Jun 2019


Conference1st International Conference on Children and Youth in Everyday Life and Professional Practices
LocationOslo Metropolitan University
Internet address

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