Dr. Linda M. Richter begins her compelling overview of “global perspectives on the wellbeing of children” by discussing in brief the most advanced thinking in the fields of human development and child psychology about what makes each child unique – and yet the same – around the world. She emphasizes in particular that the latest research tells us that all children are born pre-wired for social interaction, and that who they ultimately become is highly dependent upon the types of interactions they experience as they grow. This bio-cultural perspective serves as the basis of her critique of “Western” scholarship's focus on understanding the developmental processes of children living in resource-rich countries while ignoring the increasingly dire circumstances and developmental consequences the majority of children in the world endure. The remainder of Dr. Richter's text is divided into two parts. She first explains why we must turn our attention towards the lives of the most disadvantaged children, citing a range of contextual factors (e.g., worsening global inequality, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, conflict situations, labor migration patterns, and natural disasters) that negatively impact their formative years. She then reviews the literature on resilience, highlighting the centrality of the child-primary caregiver relationship, as well as other social relationships, to the healthy development of all children. She concludes by describing large-scale interventions targeted at families, reminding us that protecting the welfare of children in poor countries starts with ensuring that those responsible for their care are equipped to meet their material and emotional needs.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Formative Experiences: The Interaction of Caregiving, Culture, and Developmental Psychobiology|
|Publisher||Cambridge University Press|
|Number of pages||12|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2010|
ASJC Scopus subject areas