Strengthening the family to participate in development.


This research project aimed to review the family literature from a variety of disciplines which focused on definitions of family social wellness and relationships between family care and child development outcomes. The goals also were to construct systems models of material and social resources cultural values family care and development outcomes and apply the models to data from Indonesia and Nigeria. A crossdisciplinary paradigm of family social health was to be developed. Research activities were to be devoted to support social policies and programs. Recommendations were required for improving family social health. The results of this study were reported in chapters devoted to the following topics: introduction and research aims; social change and sociological anthropological and historical perspectives; economics of the family; psychological approaches to the family; child development programs; the Javanese model; the Yoruba family; structural models of family social health theory; conceptual clarification and identification of research needs; and recommendations. The project evolved out of the Positive Deviance in Nutrition Research Project which concluded that high quality child care was instrumental to the good overall development of the child in poverty. The review of the literature revealed that socially healthy families are able to adapt to changing socioeconomic conditions. Adaptation is enhanced by appropriate social policy and programs when there are positive local reinterpretations of traditional values. Family social health improves when resources are adequate; there is harmony between cultural values family management and access to external resources; and creation of altruistic sharing rules in the home. Psychological models have focused on family studies child development or the family and the child and are suitable to development assistance models. The structural models developed for this research suggested that family social health accompanied by adequate educational opportunities were the most important determinants of childrens preparation for living. The components of family health were identified as family management family caring capacity family belief rules and goals and family boundary maintenance or structural integrity. Recommendations were to revive policy laws and values requiring care and support for children by mothers and fathers; to give priority to grassroots-level involvement in child development which is integrated into family life education in a variety of areas; and to strengthen policies in diverse areas such as inheritance law and pension regulation as entitlement for the poor.