Faculty » Ross D. Parke

My research focuses on the development of social behavior in young children. As part of our long-standing exploration of mother-father differences in styles of interaction, we are examining the linkages between family and peer social systems. I am interested in the lessons that are learned in the family that, in turn, influence children's adaptation to peers. Three aspects of this problem are of concern. First, the role of parent-child interaction patterns in learning modes of socially interacting with peers is being examined. Several sets of mediating processes are assumed to bridge the gap between the family and peer group, including emotional regulatory processes and cognitive representations concerning social relationships. Second, parents serve as direct instructors, tutors and models to help teach children how to interact with age mates. Third, parents act as managers of their children's peer relationships by providing opportunities for peer contact. With the support of grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development these models of how family and peer systems are linked are being tested in cross-sectional and longitudinal studies using a variety of approaches including lab observational strategies. In addition, I am participating in the NICHD National Consortium on Early Child Care and Development, a multi-site longitudinal study of the effects of out of home child care on children's social, emotional and cognitive development.

Finally, my colleagues and I in the Center for Family Studies, an interdisciplinary group, are exploring the impact of economic stress on adaptations in families of different ethnic backgrounds with the support of an NIMH grant.

Selected Publications

McDowell, D. J., O'Neil, R., & Parke, R. D. (In press). Display rule application in a disappointing situation and children's emotional reactivity: Relations with social competence. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly.

Parke, R. D., & Brott, A. (1999). Throwaway Dads. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin.

Parke, R. D., & O'Neil, R. (1999). Social relationships across contexts: Family-peer linkages. In W. A. Collins, & B. Laursen (Eds.), Minnesota Symposium on Child Psychology, (Vol. 30, pp. 211-239). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Isley, S., O'Neil, R., Clatfelter, D., & Parke, R. D. (1999). Parent and child expressed affect and children's social acceptance and competence: Modeling direct and indirect pathways. Developmental Psychology, 35, 547-560.

Parke, R. D., & Buriel, R. (1998). Socialization in the family: Ethnic and ecological perspectives. In W. Damon (Ed.), Handbook of Child Psychology, (5th ed). New York: Wiley.

Parke, R. D., & O'Neil, R. (1997). The influence of significant others on learning about relationships. In S. Duck (Ed.), The Handbook of Personal Relationships, (2nd ed). New York: Wiley.

Parke, R. D. (1996). Fatherhood. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Carson, J., & Parke, R. D. (1996). Reciprocity of parent-child negative affect and children's social competence. Child Development, 67, 2217-2226.

Parke, R. D., Burks, V., Carson, J., Neville, B., & Boyum, L. (1994). Family-peer relationships: A tripartite model. In R. D. Parke, & S. Kellam (Eds.), Family relationships with other social systems. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.