Structural violence and early childhood development

TitleStructural violence and early childhood development
Publication TypeBook Chapter
AuthorsDawes, Andrew, and Amelia van der Merwe
EditorLeckman, James F., Catherine Panter-Brick, and Rima Salah
The first part of this chapter examines the influence of structural violence on early child development and the family environment. In contrast to direct violence, this form manifests as unequal exposure to protective and risk factors, inequitable access to the resources and services that could ameliorate risk and support positive development, and as unequal service quality. Similar to direct violence, the structural variant violates the rights of children and undermines the protective capacities of those who care for them. Insults to early development raise the probability of poor outcomes in the long term, including reduced capabilities for productive, prosocial, and peaceable citizenship. The second part offers the example of an essential package of population-level, evidence-based services for young children and caregivers that has been developed in South Africa. These services aim to reduce exposure to risk factors that compromise developmental potential, and to increase protective and promotive influences in those most affected by poverty. It covers basic services designed to promote maternal and child health and nutrition, stimulation for early learning, social protection, child protection, and the well-being of primary caregivers. Provision of these services is seen as a social good (not just an investment in future productivity). They should be available to all, but particularly to those disadvantaged by poverty and other forms of deprivation occasioned by structural violence.
Title Structural violence and early childhood development
Publication Title Pathways to peace: The transformative power of children and families
Publication Type Book Chapter
Published Year 2014
Publisher The MIT Press
Authors A. Dawes; A. van der Merwe
Editors J.F. Leckman; C. Panter-Brick; R. Salah
Section 13
Grant List


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