ERIC Number: ED182032
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Dec-7
Reference Count: 0
A Perspective on Primary Prevention in the Earliest Years.
Richmond, Julius B.
The decade of the 70's has seen significant improvements in child health and dramatic insights into the biological, psychological, and social factors influencing children's growth and development. Four of the six major gains in health status listed in the Surgeon General's Report on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention relate to improvements in the infant and child mortality rates and life expectancy. Current data show that this increased survival rate for infants is not achieved at the cost of higher rates of disabilities. Other problems related to infant well-being such as lack of prenatal care, poor prenatal nutrition, maternal age, and the use of drugs, alcohol or tobacco by pregnant women are amenable to preventive measures which are within our grasp at this time. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and congenital defects are problems for which increased scientific knowledge is needed. During the last decade, several themes have emerged in the area of child development. First, the interactionalist position of development which emphasizes the interaction of heredity and environment has achieved widespread acceptance. Second, the mechanistic approach to development which postulates an invariable course of growth based on fixed characteristics of the infant and the irreversible consequences of early experience has been rejected. Third, it is no longer believed that the mother's behavior is solely responsible for children's emotional development. These changes have implications for future research and social policy. A Select Panel for the Promotion of Child Health in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare has been created by Congressional legislation and charged with providing recommendations for a coordinated, comprehensive program that will ensure the integration of services to promote child health. (JMB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Plenary address for the meeting of the Institute on Clinical Infant Programs of the National Center for Clinical Infant Programs (Washington, DC, December 7, 1979)