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How do children feel about their surrogate mother? Do children need a father? "Parenting: What Really Counts?" examines the scientific evidence on what really matters for children's healthy psychological development. The first section considers whether it is necessary to have two parents, a father present, and explores the psychological processes that underlie optimal development for children, particularly the quality of the child's relationship with parents, other family members and the wider social world. Contrary to common assumptions, Susan Golombok concludes that family structure makes little difference to children's day-to-day experiences of life. As well as for students, researchers and teachers, "Parenting: What Really Counts?" should be of interest to parents and those thinking of embarking on a non-traditional route to parenthood.
Susan Golombok is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Family and Child Psychology Research Centre at City University, London. She is a leading international authority on the effects of non-traditional families on children's development.