Child-rearing practices and the development of the Caribbean child

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Bernard Van Leer Foundation


This paper analyses the conditions affecting child development and growth in the Caribbean region. In order to understand the behaviour of children, one must take into account the influence on child care of such factors as: alienation due to maldistribution of resources, social restiveness, lag of institutions behind social change, and population trends. The marital status, for example, "visiting relationship," common-law, or formal marriage, and the frequent changes of guardianship might impair child development. The biological system suffers from malnutrition and early weaning. Cognitive development is slowed down by authoritarianism and undue restrictions. Home and environmental variables have an observable effect on formal school achievement. Difficulties in mastering the "standard" language of the region are related to insufficient language development impaired by poor communication with the mother. The range of cultural background also has a negative effect


Caribbean Regional Seminar on Early Childhood Education, 2nd, Willemstad, Curacao, 6-11 May, 1974
Bernard Van Leer Foundation

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