Cross-cultural research

Cross-cultural research has shown that early moving opportunities and a stimulating environment contribute to motor development. Different child-rearing practices may change a baby’s moving opportunities and environment and therefore affect motor development. In this assignment you will speculate about the effect of specific child-rearing practices on infants’ motor development.
Choose two of the following cultures:
!Kung believe it is important to teach a baby how to sit up. They play games to encourage this ability, such as pulling them upright by their hands and propping them in a sitting position before they can balance themselves. Babies are also carried around in a sling a lot of the time.
Balinese believe for the first 210 days of their life, babies are divine and thus should not ever touch the ground. Crawling on the ground like an animal is base for a baby and should be discouraged. Instead, babies are carried in a sling or on the hip.
Beng believe baby’s reaching the milestone of crawling is something to be proud of, but walking should be discouraged until the baby is a year old. To prevent them for walking, babies should be carried tied to someone’s back or have a heavy bead tied around their waist.
Americans believe early walking should be encouraged. They put babies in walkers with wheels or stationary walkers that help babies stay in a standing position. They play walking games by holding the infant’s hands from above and “walking” them.
1. How does the specific child-rearing practice affect the baby’s environment? Contrast the two cultures.
2. How do the different child-rearing practices provide children with different moving opportunities?
3. How would you expect the motor development of babies in the two cultures to be different? How would you expect them to be the same? Explain why.
4. Do you expect the different child-rearing practices to affect development in areas other than the motor? Explain how.
 
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