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Infant development among the Baganda of Uganda is discussed from a sociocultural perspective. Cross-cultural examples which illustrate cultural effects on infant behavior are presented. In particular, the area of sensorimotor development is examined by means of a social survey, direct observations and formal testing during the Muganda infant's first six or eight months of life. The pattern of advancement found supports the view that parental values and childcare behaviors influence rate of infant sensorimotor development. The issue of "African infant precocity" is discussed in terms of the importance of sociocultural factors on infant development.
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Janet E. Kilbride, Ph.D. and Philip L. Kilbride, Ph.D.
Janet Kilbride is presently affiliated with the Philadelphia Geriatric Center, Behavioral Research, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19141, U.S.A. A past secretary/Treasurer of the Society for Cross-Cultural Research, she has published in psychological and anthropological journals on topics concerning infancy, socialization, and facial expression recognition. She has recently co-authored with Philip Kilbride, Changing Family Life in East Africa: Women and Children at Risk, University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1990.
Philip Kilbride is a Professor of Anthropology at Bryn Mawr College. He has published on various topics including modernization, infancy, deviance, and visual perception. In addition to the above co-authored book with Janet Kilbride, he has edited with Jane Goodale and Elizabeth Ameisen, To Know Thyself: Studies in American Ethnic Culture, Tuscaloosa, University of Alabama Press (forthcoming). Requests for reprints should be sent to Dr. Philip Kilbride, Anthropology, Dalton Hall, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania 19010.