Culture: A Basis for Development or Not?
Culture: A Basis for Development or Not?
Culture: A Basis for Development or Not?
Extensive research, within Psychology, has been conducted on Culture and its influence on development and disability. For years, psychologists have gathered evidence to suggest that culture plays an important role within a person’s everyday life. It predicts how a person, normal or disabled, will be treated during his/her lifetime. However, not all research relies on culture as a basis for development and disability. In Sroufe and Rutter’s article, “The Domain of Developmental Psychopathology,” development and disability are seen as “…individual patterns of behavioral maladaptation…” (392), where society and environment are studied within a broad spectrum. Why has culture taken a back seat in this particular article?

Sroufe and Rutter’s article suggests that culture does not tie in with development and disability. For example, in their article, they state,
“[e]ach toddler evolves a particular way of dealing with both the fact of its separateness from the caregiver and its continued dependency. Each child develops a particular orientation toward peers and styles of engaging and responding to them. For each child these adaptations are unique. They are based on the given characteristics of the child and the environment with which the child reciprocally interacts (401).

This suggests that Sroufe and Rutter are basing their perspective on the population as a whole. Culture is not viewed as a significant aspect, within the research, because they believe that environment predicts how a child will behave as an adult. However, it seems that their basis is aimed at one aspect of the world only and this world is in which they live in, their environment.

Furthermore, when culture is briefly mentioned in the article, it is stated as “our culture” (405) rather than the “American” or “African” culture. This gives evidence that the culture that Sroufe and Rutter are from is seen, from their point of view, as a dominant, “my culture is better than your culture,” which draws on the conclusion that the reason culture is seldom mentioned is because they did not bother to study any other environment or society, except for the one they are from. Their research relies on one sort of people and thus focuses on society and environment, instead of culture because culture is not needed when studying one group of people, from

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Extensive Research And Given Characteristics Of The Child. (June 11, 2021). Retrieved from