‘Good’ parenting practices: how important are poverty, education and time pressure?

Esther Dermott, Marco Pomati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

80 Citations (Scopus)
1246 Downloads (Pure)


This article examines how parenting practices popularly classed as ‘good’ are related to poverty, education and time pressure. Using the 2012 UK Poverty and Social Exclusion (PSE) survey we argue that parenting practices such as reading, playing games and eating meals together are not absent among those who are less well educated, have lower incomes or are more deprived of socially accepted necessities: therefore, political claims of widespread ‘poor parenting’ are misplaced. Further, we suggest that the dominant trope of poor people being poor at parenting may arise because the activities of the most educationally advantaged parents – who do look different to the majority – are accepted as the benchmark against whom others are assessed. This leads us to suggest that the renewed interest in sociological research on elites should be extended to family life in order that the exceptionality of the most privileged is recognised and analysed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-142
Number of pages18
Issue number1
Early online date29 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016

Structured keywords

  • Bristol Poverty Institute
  • SPAIS Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship


  • class
  • concerted cultivation
  • education
  • home learning environment
  • income
  • parenting
  • poverty
  • PSE 2012
  • time
  • troubled families


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