chapter  12
22 Pages

Comparing the Social Development of South African, Ugandan, and African-American Children

The social development of South African children has been discussed in chapters 6 and 7, where we noted deficits in the behavior regulation as exemplified in high levels of aggression and opposition by the time children were age six. Recall that 19 percent of South African children were described by their parents as often disobedient and 36 percent were often aggressive. Also, problems were noted with regard to emotional regulation. Thirty percent of Mandela's children were rated as frequently fearful when they were six years old. We have tried to make the case that conditions in South Africa relevant to poverty, racism, community violece, and family life are signifcantly implicated in these adverse developmental outcomes. Arguments linking these conditions to elevated levels of opposition, aggression, and fear could be strengthened by examining the extent to which the same re1ationships between social risks and development are observed among children growing up in slightly different cultural contexts. Accordingly this chapter compares the quality of psychosocial development among children in South Africa, Uganda, and the United States and examines the extent to which poverty continues to have a relationship to poar outcomes.