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Child and Family Development - Case Study Example

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Explaining the logic and hidden factors underlying the process human development is one the most intriguing and sophisticated tasks of psychological research. Numbers of outstanding thinkers have repeatedly attempted to identify the basic developmental principles universal for all human beings, and the quest continues up to now…
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Child and Family Development
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Download file to see previous pages The earlier perspectives attempted to reveal a universal set of principles/mechanisms underlying the process of human development. However, this goal was not achieved through comprehensive research of all psychological issues related to human development. Instead, founders and representatives of each approach tended to build a comprehensive account of human development on the basis of some specific set of psychological phenomena. Thus, the psychoanalytic approach focused almost exclusively on the interaction between conscious and unconscious drives which they believed determined human development and behavior; by contrast, representatives of the behaviorist perspective neglected inner mental events in favor of visible behavioral reactions accumulation of which played the key role in shaping human personality; cognitive researchers paid attention to the cognitive mechanisms perceiving them as the major determinants of human development; the humanist perspective emphasized the importance of motivational aspects.
Such specific approach resulted in emergence of several broad approaches the theoretical value of which could hardly be questioned. However, this broadness was not the result of comprehensive empirical research in the field: lack of adequate methods to explore many hidden aspects of human psychology, coupled with excessive emphasis being placed on a particular set of phenomena were the major contributing factors. Therefore, the practical value of the traditional perspectives in explaining each particular case is often limited due to their failure to properly consider the huge variety of unique individual factors that affect the process of human development. This essential practical limitation leads to a reasonable assumption that it may not be reasonable to apply only broad based, universal developmental standards to all people without considering the individual variations, in particular such as race, ethnicity and culture which have important implications on the process of human development.
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A number of important variations are based on racial, ethnical, and cultural background of individuals (Gibbs & Huang, 1998). The outburst of scholarly interest toward the diverse influence of race, ethnicity and culture on psychological development of children can be traced back to the late 1980s - early 1990s when several attempts were made to design a special framework to consider this group of factors (McLoyd, 1991; Graham, 1992; Gibbs & Huang, 1998). Since the differences between members of various racial, ethnic and cultural groups had been well documented before (Dornbusch et al, 1991), the researchers focused on discovering the mechanisms and mediators that might contribute to the phenomenon. Consequently, the experiences of racial discrimination and the specific race, ethnicity, and culture related processes such as stereotyping, ethnic socialization and identity emerged as the primary determinants of development in minority children.
Although each of these factors received a fair share of scholarly attention within the realm of social ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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