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Crisis of Cross-Cultural Child and Youth Care (From Choices in Caring: Contemporary Approaches to Child and Youth Care Work, P 65-103, 1990, Mark A Krueger and Norman W Powell, eds. -- See NCJ-124239)

NCJ Number
G R Weaver
Date Published
34 pages
To better serve the nonmainstream child, an understanding of the impact of culture on behavior and the dynamics of cross-cultural adjustment is necessary.
Child care workers need to understand the concept of culture and appreciate the reality that they have been conditioned by their own culture to perceive and think in particular ways. A child's behavior is influenced by internal culture, including values, beliefs, thought patterns, perceptions, and a worldview. A lack of understanding of this internal culture will result in workers evaluating behavior based on their own cultural expectations. Teaching children why they act as they do will give them a sense of control and help them understand that their feelings are normal. The burden of responsibility for cross-cultural understanding and communication belongs with the youth care worker and not with the child. Cultural misunderstandings can cause a conflict cycle that leads to a power struggle. The worker who develops a cultural empathy will truly understand a child's behavior and free themselves of their own cultural biases. 28 references.