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Culture and Human Development

About the Stream

Developmental trajectories reflect the interaction between individual abilities on the one hand, and the ecological and socio-cultural niche in which one grows up on the other hand. Informed by bioecological models, I will provide an overview of how different ecological niches have produced varying childrearing values and strategies, which in turn have created variations in the contexts in which developmental trajectories evolve. The workshop will be in two parts. In the first part, I will dedicate a significant amount of time to discussing how cultural and contextual factors influence development. More importantly, I will discuss conceptual and methodological approaches that need to be taken into consideration in order to adequately study human development in context. I will highlight issues of measurement, sampling, and analysis which are of importance in (cross) cultural developmental psychology. Lastly, translational behavioral research is gaining more prominence in psychology. We will discuss ways in which we can design studies that inform practice and policy.

In the second part, students will be placed in small working groups based on earlier submitted work to discuss research ideas. Each working group will aim at developing a research plan with achievable milestones, for them to implement as a concrete outcome from participation in the workshop.

About the Stream Leader

Amina is associated with the Centre for Geographic Medicine Research, KEMRI/Wellcome Trust Research Programme Kenya; Department of Cross-Cultural Psychology, Tilburg University, Netherlands; Department of Child and Adolescent Studies, Utrecht University, Netherlands; Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, UK.

Dr Amina Abubakar studied Educational psychology at Kenyatta University in Kenya, before proceeding to study Developmental Cross-Cultural Psychology at Tilburg University where obtained her PhD in 2008. She currently works at the Kenya Medical Research Institute/Wellcome Trust Research Programme, in Kenya.

Dr. Amina Abubakar is a Psychologist whose research concerns three broad areas: the sequelae of various childhood diseases, neurodevelopmental disorders, specifically Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and contextual predictors of psychological well-being across cultural context. Her main interests are in the study of developmental delays and impairments among children exposed to various health problems such as HIV, malnutrition and malaria. Her main focus in this regard is on developing culturally appropriate strategies for identifying, monitoring and rehabilitating at-risk children. In addition, she is also interested in examining the prevalence of and risk factors for neurodevelopmental disorders, specifically ASD, within the African context. Lastly, alongside collaborators from more than twenty countries, she is developing a line of research where we investigate how various contextual factors (familial, school, peer and cultural) impact on wellbeing (mental health, life satisfaction and identity formation) of adolescents across cultural contexts.

Reading Material

The reading material for this stream is compressed in a zip file, attached to this page (see below).


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