What Mother Needs to Know: Child-Rearing Advice in America, 1900−1950
Initially an outgrowth of the desire to keep newborns and infants alive, the American child-rearing advice industry grew to become a means to influence American children of all ages. During the twentieth century, advice moved from issues of physical survival to psychological well-being, and from normal development to cognitive success. As doctors, psychologists and other professionals penetrated into the lives of middle class parents and their children, they contributed to the growing self-consciousness and accompanying anxiety of mothers regarding their responsibilities. In this context, Dr. Benjamin Spock emerged as the towering figure in post-World War II America parenting advice.
Paula S. Fass ist Margaret S. Byrne Professorin für Geschichte an der University of California in Berkeley.