Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950565 | Print ISBN: 9780761928201 | Online ISBN: 9781412950565| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Child Development across Cultures
Melissa L. Chatham
For a child, culture encompasses the environment in which a child is reared, the beliefs and goals of parents, and the means by which parents attempt to attain these goals (Cole, 1999). The field of cross-cultural developmental psychology has three major goals. The first is to examine the generalizability of current theories within psychology, as well as testing these theories. The second is to learn more about other cultures and similarities and differences between cultures. The third is to gain a more universal understanding of psychology that is widely applicable to different cultures (Gardiner, Mutter, & Kosmitzki, 1998). Culture affects every aspect of a child's development: physical and motor capabilities, cognitive abilities, and social and emotional behavior (Bornstein, 1980). The examination of cultural differences in physical and motor development has made a significant impact on the field of cross-cultural developmental psychology. Many of these processes were once thought to be ...