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Childrearing, Culture and Mental Health

The "Contragenetic" or "Basic Distrust" Thesis (continued)

3. Social Settings Relevant to Parenting Behaviour which may Contribute to "Ecologically-Determined Maladjustment"

In pursuit of certain beliefs and values, Western societies have given insufficient attention to many variables of the social settings relevant to parenting behaviour. The important question "What qualities of the environment and social settings promote healthy and mutually satisfying parent-child relationships?" is seldom asked. Detailed consideration is beyond my scope here, but l suggest that the conditions which often prevail form an environment which is so biologically deviant that they may contribute to "ecologically-determined maladjustment" through adverse effects on parenting behaviour. For example, inadequacies in the following areas are common:

Affluence may help to improve some of these variables, but so far this has not generally occurred. Many materially poorer and even non-literate societies have made better provision in many of these respects than most so-called affluent societies.

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