Child Development and the Environment of Community : A Developmental-Ecological Approach

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  • 子どもの発達と地域環境 : 発達生態学的アプローチ
  • コドモ ノ ハッタツ ト チイキ カンキョウ : ハッタツ セイタイガクテキ アプローチ

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Children are born immature as human beings and need support in order to establish self-care. They learn skills, knowledge and attitudes through the imitation of and identification with their caregivers. Children thrive as members of their family and community if they are given high quality care and education. Poverty influences children's health and development negatively, but "being poor" is different from "being impoverished." Therefore, early identification of and intervention for children at risk are important to prevent children from "becoming impoverished." The author discusses a dynamic relationship between children and the environment of their community, based on long-term longitudinal studies in three different regions in Japan, from a developmental-ecological standpoint. The paper focusses on the following: (1) theories about the building of an effective environment of community; (2) definition of an environment of community; (3) developmental studies in three different regions in Japan; and (4) characteristics of health and behavioral problems of children in the different regions. In conclusion, a new concept of "Community-based Child Development (CCD)" is proposed from the developmental-ecological perspective.


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