Adversity and child development in South Africa: effects of socio-economic status and violence on functioning at age 4

Barbarin, Oscar A.
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The social and political transformations currently under way in South Africa provide reasonable grounds for optimism about the future of this country and of most of its people. However the seeds of violence, social upheaval, and economic injustice planted and nurtured during the apartheid era continue to yield a bitter and abundant harvest. This enduring legacy of violence and poverty is endemic to the daily experiences of many African families(Ramphele) 1993). A purpose of this report is to review empirical data from an investigation of the development of South African children in order to determine whether socioeconomic status (marital status, educational status and access to material resources) and their concomitants (exposure to community and family violence) predict behavioral and emotional functioning. The central question to be addressed here can be stated as follows: By age 4 are the offspring of parents with limited access to material resources and who live in dangerous areas more likely to exhibit decrements or acquire competencies in behavioral and emotional domains than the offspring of their more advantaged counterparts?
African Studies Seminar series. Paper presented 19 February, 1996
Child development. South Africa, Children and violence. South Africa, Poverty. Psychological aspects. South Africa, Children, Effect of poverty on. South Africa