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Parental Determinism in the Swedish Strategy for Parenting Support

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Document pages: 10 pages

Abstract: This article analyses and problematises central assumptions in Sweden s National Strategy for Developing Parenting Support, a document that addresses children s deteriorating psychological health. The analysis was performed with Bacchi s (2009) approach to policy analysis. The results show how parental determinism is expressed; psychological ill health among school-aged children is described as an individualised problem caused by insecure parents, who are represented as the most important persons in a child s life and, therefore, are considered to be risk factors that require continuous support. Evidence-based parenting support programmes in particular are described as a central tool for improving parents’ sense of responsibility and parenting skills. While the strategy aims to offer all Swedish parents support, it underlines ideals that have been related to gendered, middle-class notions of parenting. The issue concerning children s psychological health is problematised and discussed in relation to parental determinism, the risk society, equality, equity and psychological health.

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