Navajo Infancy: An Ethological Study of Child Development

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2009-07-15
  • Publisher: Routledge
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Navajo Infancy describes the major sources of changeand continuity in Navajo infant development. It does so bycombining concepts and methods of classical ethology withthose of social-cultural anthropology. The goal is to establishthe relationships between human nature and culture. Buyconsidering the nature of adaptation, and the evolution ofhuman developmental patterns, and through analyses ofthe determinants of change and continuity in Navajo infantdevelopment, Navajo Infancy outlines how the process ofdevelopment itself may bridge nature and culture.With its special focus on the effect of the cradleboardon Navajo mother-infant interaction, Navajo Infancyraises important developmental issues in its analyses ofwhy the effects of the cradleboard do not last. Incorporatingthe Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scaleinto its ethological-anthropological methods, NavajoInfancy demonstrates significant Navajo-Anglo-Americandifferences in newborn temperament. It finds a strongcorrelation between newborn behavior and prenatalenvironmental factors, arguing that racial and ethnic differencesin behavior at birth go well beyond simple genepool differences.Navajo Infancy also describes the individual and groupdifferences in the development of Navajo and Anglo-American children’s fear of strangers and patterns ofmother-infant interaction. Aspects of attachment theory,transactional theories of development, and anthropologicaltheories of socialization are related to this broad newevolutionary approach to the process of development andnature-culture interaction.

Author Biography

James S. Chisholm is professor at the school of Anatomy and Human Biology at the University of Western Australia. His research interests include Biological and Biological Anthropology. He is the author of Death, Hope, and Sex and Cultural Persistence: Continuity in Meaning and Moral Responsibility Among the Bear Lake Athapaskans (with S. Rushforth). Cary Michael Carney is the program director of the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) student testing program, covering Missouri and Kansas for the Department of Defense.

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Transaction Editionp. ix
Prefacep. xv
Development In an Evolutionary Context
The Process of Adaptationp. 1
Ontogeny and Phylogenyp. 12
Adaptability and Developmentp. 24
Summaryp. 39
The Environment of Navajo Infancy
Perturbations in the Environment of Navajo Infancyp. 41
The Navajop. 42
Cottonwood Springsp. 51
The Cradleboard
The Cradleboard and Swaddling in Cross-Cultural Perspectivep. 71
Previous Studies of the Cradleboardp. 79
The Hypotheses: Does the Cradleboard Affect Navajo Child Developmentp. 87
The Research
Anthropology and Ethology in Child Development Researchp. 93
The Samplesp. 97
The Methodsp. 108
The Behavior of Navajo and Anglo Newborn Infants
The Analysis of Brazelton Scale Data: Methods and Rationalep. 126
Prenatal Influences on Navajo-Anglo Group Differences in Newborn Behaviorp. 130
Discussion and Conclusionp. 135
Navajo and Anglo Children's Fear of Strangers
Similarities and Differences in Navajo and Anglo Fear of Strangersp. 142
Environmental Correlates of Navajo Fear of Strangersp. 152
Discussion and Conclusionp. 156
Mother-Infant Interaction and The Cradleboard
The Immediate Effects of the Cradleboardp. 164
Some Situational Determinants of Cradleboard Usep. 172
The Longer-Term Effects of the Cradleboardp. 174
Discussion and Conclusionp. 198
The Determinants of Mother-Infant Interactionp. 199
Deriving the Determinantsp. 199
Navajo Neonatal Behavior and Mother-Infant Interaction in the First Quarterp. 203
The Child's Opportunity for Interaction with Othersp. 206
Discussion and Conclusionsp. 212
Summary and Conclusions: Development as Adaptation
Summaryp. 215
Synthesis and Implicationsp. 225
Bibliographyp. 251
Indexp. 265
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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