ERIC Number: ED092288
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1973-Apr-6
Reference Count: N/A
Infant Care and Motor Development in Rural Kenya: Some Preliminary Data on Precocity and Deficit.
Super, Charles M.
Discussing psychology for Africa, particularly rural Kenya, this paper presented two implications for the country and people interested in its affairs. First, although urbanization and "Westernization" are perhaps the most salient aspects of modern Africa, there is little understanding of how family relationships and child care are affected by these processes. The second implication examined the use of differences between black and white babies as evidence for racial superiority, arguing that precocity as a generalized phenomenon is not an accurate way to either conceptualize or investigate African infant development. Infant motor development has become almost a standard focus of African research, starting with Gerber in 1958, but it was not until recently that data were reported to indicate that any differences exist between African and European development. Serious problems remain, however, arising from the use of standard Western infant development tests. It was reported that the early precocity of African infants begins to decline at approximately 18 months, until by the third year they score reliably below Western infants, but it is rarely noted that many of the test items introduced during the second year are distinctly Western. The study concluded that the motor precocity phenomena which are reliably known at present can be adequately explained by the variations in child care and training practices. The theory that there is a general precocity which is "related primarily to genetic factors" fails to acknowledge, and has difficulty in accounting for, the discrete patterning of precocity and deficity. (KM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Grant Foundation, New York, NY.; Carnegie Corp. of New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa; Kenya