Document Detail

Poverty, underdevelopment and infant mental health.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12755927     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Very great advances have occurred in disciplinary and professional knowledge of infant development and its influence on subsequent development. This expertise includes the ways in which early experiences affect the capacity of mature individuals for social adjustment and productive competence, and promising methods of intervention to promote infant mental health and prevent adverse sequelae of risk conditions. However, very little of this knowledge has been applied in work among infants and children living in conditions of poverty and underdevelopment. This lack of application continues despite the enormous threats to the well-being of infants and young children brought about by the combined effects of poverty and the AIDS pandemic, especially in southern Africa. Protein-energy malnutrition, maternal depression, and institutional care of infants and small children are cited as illustrative of areas in which interventions, and their evaluation, are desperately needed in resource-poor countries. An argument is made for the critical importance of considering and addressing psychological factors in care givers and children in conditions of extreme material need. An example is provided of a simple intervention model based on sound developmental principles that can be implemented by trained non-professionals in conditions of poverty and underdevelopment.
L M Richter
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of paediatrics and child health     Volume:  39     ISSN:  1034-4810     ISO Abbreviation:  J Paediatr Child Health     Publication Date:    2003 May-Jun
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-05-20     Completed Date:  2003-09-16     Revised Date:  2007-09-24    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9005421     Medline TA:  J Paediatr Child Health     Country:  Australia    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  243-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Child, Youth and Family Development, Human Sciences Research Council, Dalbridge and School of Psychology, University of Natal, Natal, South Africa.
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MeSH Terms
Child, Preschool
Developing Countries*
Infant Welfare*
Mental Health*
Protein-Energy Malnutrition* / epidemiology,  etiology,  mortality
Social Problems*

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