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Culture and the Individual Child Development I. Neonatal Differences Cross- Culturally Developmental Quotient for Infants Birth to 1 year General, Motor,

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Presentation on theme: "Culture and the Individual Child Development I. Neonatal Differences Cross- Culturally Developmental Quotient for Infants Birth to 1 year General, Motor,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Culture and the Individual Child Development I

2 Neonatal Differences Cross- Culturally Developmental Quotient for Infants Birth to 1 year General, Motor, Eye-Hand Coordination, Language Acquisition, Sociability Developmental Age/Actual age x 100 =DQ based on Western Standards eg. 3 months/3 months = 1 x 100 = DQ of 100 Many traditional societies have average DQ’s of 140 to 180 Child Rearing Practices Thought to Affect DQ include: Prolonged bodily contact with mother Prolonged affective contact with mother Care that encourages motor development, eg. Massage Greater amounts of tactile, proprioceptive, visual and auditory stimulation Baby’s participation in daily life along with mother Being in a vertical position on the back of the mother during the day

3 Ethnotheories Expectations and beliefs about the nature of some aspect of life Three aspects of ethnotheories about children: 1.Observations of children are used to help construct the ethnotheory 2.The expectations of the culture in which they live are used to construct the ethnotheory 3.Parents and others influence the development of children using the ethnotheory Kinds of Ethnotheories 1.Western Professional Ethnotheories 2.Parental Ethnotheories

4 Western Professonal Ethnotheories Piaget Sensorimotor – motor control, learning about physical objects Preoperational – verbal skills, naming, intuitive reasoning Concrete Operational – abstracts such as numbers and relationships Formal operational – logical reason and systematic thinking

5 Parental Ethnotheories1 Juxtlahuaca, Oaxaca, Mexico Children are incapable of learning anything until they are 2 years old – they are “in darkness.” At the age of about 2 (at weaning) they enter a stage called “this child now knows” and can learn by imitation. When they get their second set of teeth (about 6 or 7) they acquire reason and become teachable. At adolescence (about 13) changes in basic character become very difficult At 18 character is firmly set and cannot be altered.

6 Parental Ethnotheories 2 Some Aspects of an American Parental Ethnotheory Stages include Infant (birth to about 18 months), Toddler (about 18 months to 3 or 4), Child (3 or 4 until about 13) and Adolescent (from 13 to 18) Learning begins at birth and the earlier you begin to expose the child to experiences, the earlier s/he will begin to learn and the better his/her ultimate performance will be (music, languages) Every child is entitled to a “childhood” that is focused on play and learning and not on adult behaviors. A child does not become an adult with all the rights, privileges and responsibilities of an adult until they are in their twenties. Children possess potentials based on heredity that are influenced by training. It is the responsibility of parents to recognize and guide the child’s potential. Too little discipline is thought to make children lazy and spoiled.

7 Attachment In many traditional societies babies are carried by the mother or other a great deal of the time. Infant carrying practices Whiting shows that the way that infants are carried varies with climate, probably because urine evaporates in warmer climates -cradle boards in cold climates - rare -sling or arms in warmer climates Contrast with modern infant carriers and car seats

8 Jim McKenna: Characteristics of Human Infants Human infants are less mature than any other form of primate at birth. Human infants develop more slowly than any other primate. The human brain is about 25% of its adult weight at birth. The human infant will take years to reach adulthood physically, and usually longer to attain independence from parents. Human milk is low in proteins and fat and high in sugars which metabolize quickly, and therefore Human infants have evolved to need to feed frequently to thrive. Frequent feeding means short sleep cycles with little deep (stage 4 non- REM) sleep as a natural part of the infants sleep patterns. Independent sleeping encourages long intervals between feeding and allows for the development of long intervals of deep sleep. Human infants must learn to shift between neocortical driven breaths and automatic brainstem-initiated breaths as adults do. This is accomplished by about 5 months of age. Social vs Solitary Sleeping

9 Jim McKenna: Short Term Effects of Infant Social Sleeping Babies breast feed on demand with mother not waking fully. Babies and mothers sleep more and mothers report better quality of sleep Increased breast feeding leads to better immunity and nutrition Babies gain more weight, a measure of infant success Babies cry significantly less Social sleeping helps regulate sleep state, arousal patterns, heart rates and body temperature. Babies must learn to control breathing for speech sounds and do this between birth and 4-5 months, are at risk when in deep sleep of forgetting to breathe Mother signals baby to breath with her breathing, heartbeat, movements during sleep Mother’s exhaled breath stimulates infant to breathe. Parents are there if the infant chokes or needs attention.

10 Jim McKenna: Response to Western Objections Freudian fear of sexual overtones Evidence from hundreds of societies shows that there is no sexual consequence of social sleeping Fear of accidentally suffocating infant The history of “overlying” as a form of infanticide throughout history Babies given opiates or other drugs sometimes did not wake up and mother’s were assumed to have suffocated them Confusion between mother as smoker and social sleeping Desire to teach independence Evidence shows that children who sleep socially are better adjusted and more independent. No research supports the idea that independent sleeping promotes dependence. Co-sleeping as a possible defense against SIDs In Japan (the only industrialized nation that reports high levels of social sleeping) low levels of SIDS

11 Jim McKenna: Long Term Effects of Infant Social Sleeping Study of middle class English children found kids who co-slept were easier to control, happier, and had fewer tantrums in school College males who co-slept between birth & 5 yrs had higher self esteem, less guilt and anxiety, more frequent sexual activity College females who co-slept had less discomfort about physical contact and affection Women who co-slept had higher self esteem, confidence, intimacy U.S. military kids who co-slept were better behaved in school, and were underrepresented in psychiatric populations English kids who co-slept were easier to handle, dealt better with stressful situations, and were less dependent on parents Five ethnic groups, 1400 adults who co-slept reported higher satisfaction with life.

12 Cross-Cultural Studies of Social Sleeping 136 Societies with 4 types of sleeping arrangements: 1.Mother and father in one bed with baby in another bed 2.Mother and baby in one bed with father in another bed 3.All members of family in one bed 4.All members of family in separate beds

13 Cross – Cultural Studies of Social Sleeping 50% of societies = mother and baby in same bed, father in another 16% of societies = baby in same bed as mother and father Men and women routinely sleep together in cold climates (night temperatures less than 50 degrees) Men and women sleep separately in warmer climates Babies sleep with mothers in warmer climates and with both parents in some cold climate cultures Babies in some cold climates are tightly wrapped in blankets and strapped to cradle boards to minimize heat loss – very few societies do this.

14 Social Sleeping Cross–Culturally 186 Non-industrialized Societies 46% children sleep with both parents 21% in separate bed in the same room 33% children sleep with mother 0 place infants under 1 year in a separate room or place 172 Societies The U.S. is the ONLY culture in which babies are routinely placed in separate beds in separate rooms. In the U.S. babies who co-sleep do not do so longer than 3-6 months

15 Social Sleeping Cross–Culturally A comparison of U.S. and Guatemalan (Maya) culture Americans reported sleeping with infants to solve a problem – ease of breastfeeding, comforting a crying baby Americans ritualize bedtime with stories, lullabies, special clothing, toys etc to get children to sleep alone Mayans reported sleeping with infants because closeness between mother and infants at night is something that parents do for their children. Mayan parents allow the child to fall asleep wherever and whenever he/she is tired. Mothers do not seek “adult time” away from the child, but allow the child to stay with adults whether awake or asleep.

16 Social Sleeping Cross–Culturally Infant sleep patterns are one of the most enduring parts of culture In England, Indian,Pakistani and Bangladeshi infants and children continue to sleep with parents even when family is well acculturated 21% of Hispanic-Americans as compared with 6% of a matched sample of White Americans co- slept with children and 80% of the Hispanic- American children shared a room with their parents Appalachian families see co-sleeping as natural and most do so.

17 The Six Cultures Study 6 teams of anthropologists, one male and one female Villages or small towns in six cultures: Taira, Okinawa (Japan) Tarong, Luzon, Philippines Khalapur, India Nyansongo, Kenya, Africa Juxtlahuaca, Oaxaca, Mexico “Orchard Town,” New England, U.S.

18 Six Cultures Study 2 Maternal Warmth Maternal Moodiness OkinawaPhilippines PhilippinesOkinawa AfricaIndia United StatesMexico MexicoUnited States IndiaAfrica

19 Six Cultures Study 3 Mother’s Responsibililty for: Infant CareChild Care United States Okinawa Africa Phillipines Mexico India Okinawa Mexico India Africa Philippines

20 Six Cultures Study 4 Permissiveness of Training for Peer Aggression toward Directed Aggression Mother IndiaUnited States United StatesPhilippines OkinawaAfrica MexicoIndia PhilippinesOkinawa AfricaMexico

21 Six Cultures Study 5

22 Six Cultures Study 6 Number of Chores Frequency of chores MexicoAfricaPhilippines AfricaMexicoUnited States OkinawaIndia IndiaOkinawa

23 Six Cultures Study 7 Profile for the United States Medium Maternal Warmth High Maternal Moodiness Mother exclusively cares for infant Mother exclusively cares for child Mother tolerates lots of aggression towards her Mother trains child to be aggressive towards peers Single family home – no family nearby Children do a medium number of chores with a medium frequency of chore activity

24 Six Cultures Study 8 India Profile Very little maternal warmth Medium maternal moodiness Medium responsibility for infant care Low responsibility for child care Mother tolerates lots of aggression towards her Mother trains for some aggression towards peers Large extended families (up to 4 generations) Children do very few chores and spend very little time doing chores

25 Six Cultures Study 9 Profile for Mexico Low maternal warmth Medium maternal moodiness Low responsibility for infant care Medium responsibility for child care Medium permissiveness for mother directed aggression Lowest training for peer directed aggression Extended family households Expected the greatest number of chores with a medium amount of chore time


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