The foundations of affective development : proactive involvement of the educational psychologist

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

In this thesis the foundations of affective development are discussed. The context of development is considered to be the relationship between infant and caregiver. The theoretical bases of developmental psychology and the practice of clinical psychology have been drawn on and applied to a model of promotive and preventive work. Affective development may be enhanced by psychologists, and it is therefore important for them to consider promotion of mental health as well as more traditional ways of therapeutic intervention. A survey was done in four infant clinics in Cape Town, and had the aim of establishing whether health care workers in this context were doing anything to promote affective development. There seemed to be minimal intervention in this regard. The second aim of the research section of this thesis addressed the question of whether there might be a place within the clinic structures for educational psychologists. To this end groups of caregivers were set up, and a pilot promotive programme was administered and evaluated over five sessions. In general the response of the mothers was positive. In the final chapter some of the particular strains that are placed on South African families are considered. Finally recommendations and ideas for establishing programmes that seek to promote affective development in contexts other than clinics are discussed.

Includes bibliography.