Central and South America
DOI link for Central and South America
Central and South America book
Cross-cultural developmental studies involving participants from Central and South America, a geopolitical region characterized by great cultural diversity, have contributed to our understanding of both universal and culture-specifi c aspects of human development. e study of Posada et al. (2002) on maternal caregiving and infant security is an example of this contribution. e generality of the link between sensitive caregiving and infant security has been consistently reported in the literature. However, few studies have been conducted in developing countries, and evidence from South America is even scarcer. Among other aspects, Posada et al. investigated the adequacy of the conceptualization of caregiving and the cross-cultural generality of the sensitivity-security link in a study with Colombian and U.S. mother-infant dyads from urban (Bogotá and Denver) middle-class backgrounds. Using an ethnographic methodology, Posada et al. concluded that the domains of maternal behavior related to the attachment security provide a suitable framework to describe Colombian mothers’ behavior. In addition, analyses revealed that Colombian and U.S. mothers did not diff er in maternal sensitivity, and consistent with previous research, positive associations were observed between maternal sensitivity and infant security in both groups. Nonetheless, Posada et al. (2002) also identifi ed discrete diff erences between the Colombian and U.S. groups. For instance, although mothers of both groups tended to be more cooperative than intrusive, Colombian mothers were perceived as less interfering and more active and animated in interactions with their babies, whereas American mothers were perceived as more active in creating interesting environments. In sum, the fi ndings provide support for the universality of the importance of the early care and also indicate some cross-cultural variations in maternal caregiving.