This rich and well-researched volume comes in the wake of intense national interest in young children. Leading scholars from diverse disciplines use relevant data from the Commonwealth Survey of Parents with Young Children to present new information about the lives of families with very young children - how parents spend their time with their children, the economic and social challenges they face, and the supports they receive to improve their children's health and development. Such a broad portrait based on nationally representative date has not been attempted before. Drawing on their extensive expertise and research in the issues being addressed, the authors examine and elaborate on the survey findings. They synthesize the major themes emerging from the data and consider the family, community, and policy implications to frame and interpret the results. What emerges is a picture of the complex forces that influence families and child-rearing in the early years.

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