Infancy and Culture: An International Review and Source Book

By Hiram E.Fitzgerald; Rosalind B.Johnson et al. | Go to book overview
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tant to assess a wide variety of groups within ethnic populations in order to obtain data that are generalizable to the population being studied (McAdoo, 1998). Since many of the problems of youth in the United States, such as school dropout, violence, and teenage pregnancy, disproportionately affect minority youth (Gibbs, Huang, & Associates, 1989), it is imperative that research be done not only to assess the precursors and implications of such behaviors, but also to better understand what supports, coping abilities, and cultural strengths are available that contribute to the positive outcomes of many minority children (McAdoo, 1998; McLoyd, 1998). Consequently, research on infants that investigates these phenomena are the logical starting point. Moreover, the practice of simply publishing results of research in scientific journals is not adequate any longer. Research must include suggestions for intervention implementation, and results must be translated in such a way as to be understood by advocacy groups, policy designers, and government workers (McAdoo, 1998). The president of the Children’s Defense Fund, Marion Wright Edelman (1987), proposes that given the increasing population of racial and ethnic minorities in this country, both the social and economic well-being of the United States in the future will rely more heavily on its capacity to strengthen competencies and positive development, and to decrease negative behaviors and outcomes in all of America’s children.

Although Asian American children constitute a smaller number of the American population than some other minority groups, it is still imperative that social science research be conducted on these infants and children in order to better understand their social, emotional, and psychological development and thus, meet the critical needs of all infants and their families in the United States.


Alexander, G.R., Mor, J.M., Kogan, M.D., Leland, N.L., & Kieffer, E. (1996). Pregnancy outcome of U.S.-born and foreign-born Japanese Americans. American Journal of Public Health, 86, 820-824.

Edelman, M.W. (1987). Families in peril: An agenda for social change. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Fong, R., & Browne, C. (1998). United States immigration policy and Chinese children and families. In H.E. Fitzgerald, B.M. Lester, & B.S. Zuckerman (Eds). Children of color: Research, health, and policy issues, (pp. 187-204). New York: Garland.

Gibbs, J.T., Huang, L.N., & Associates. (1989). Children of color: Psychological interventions with minority youth. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Guthrie, G.M. (1979). A cross-cultural odyssey: Some personal reflections. In A.J. Marsella, R.G. Tharp, & T.J. Ciborowski (Eds.). Perspectives on cross-cultural psychology. New York: Academic Press.

Jelliffe, D.B., & Jelliffe, E.F.P. (1988). Breastfeeding: General review. In D.B. Jelliffe


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