Some Growth Points in African Child Development Research

Document Type



Institute for Human Development


We reflect on ways in which research presented in earlier chapters responds to challenges of generating an African child development field and identify additional issues calling for the field's attention. The chapters collectively display a variety of African contexts and reflexive evidence of the authors’ African cultural roots. Connecting research with African audiences demands cooperative communication between educational practitioners and parents with low literacy, and cross-sector communication among professionals. Intracultural exploration of factors influencing the pattern of human development has begun to document the potential of indigenous African cultures as a fund of resources for enhancing child development. Priority topics for future African developmental research include multilingualism, musical performance, socially distributed caregiving, and the relation between adolescence and economic activity. Integration of multiple disciplines in the application of research-based principles to service delivery in the fields of community-based (re)habilitation and early childhood care and education calls for researcher collaboration with practitioners. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc

Publication (Name of Journal)

New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development