Monthly Article Archives: June 2003

Does It Matter How We Raise Our Children?Robert Brooks, Ph.D.

“It’s not our abilities that show who we really are but our choices.” J.K. Rowling This is my last monthly article until September. It was written with my colleague Dr. Sam Goldstein to address important questions that have arisen in the past few years about the influence of parents on their child’s development. We wanted to share our thoughts with you about this provocative topic. * * * Recently developed, sophisticated scientific techniques have highlighted the significant impact of genetics on adult personality, adjustment, and cognitive and behavioral patterns. As a consequence, the role of parents in influencing a child’s development has been increasingly questioned by several researchers in the field. Yet, we have based a prominent part of our academic and professional careers upon a guiding principle that is seemingly in contradiction to this research, namely, that parents can exert a major influence on the thinking, feeling, and ultimately behaving of their children that lasts into their adult years. We do not believe this guiding principle is weakened by or in disagreement with these recent research findings. We have especially described the influence of parents within a framework of resilience. After sixty years of combined clinical practice we have

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