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Children's Use of the Resources Families Provide

Gay Ochiltree and Paul Amato

It is in the family that children learn the skills and knowledge necessary to get along. Most children in fact become pretty competent in both their own family group and in larger social groups such as school. However, some families manage to help their children to be competent better than others. Perhaps there are ways to assist.
Of course there are some things that are unalterable, such as the general level of health of family members, the family's cultural background, and quite often family income depends on the country's economy. In a large study of all the things that affect how well children manage we came across important family factors that can be changed.
Researchers have frequently been more concerned with what adults say is good for children; we made the child's viewpoint our major focus. In articles available from the Institute of Family Studies there are examinations of the effect of family type and family conflict on children's competence. How do family resources help or hinder?

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