As child psychology is a branch of psychology which studies the mind and behavior of children starting from prenatal development and up to adolescence, and my task is to analyze a recent topical event, reported in the mass media, I decided to discuss the article which is connected with childcare issues. The title of the article is Acapulco Woman Makes Street Children her Mission. This article touches upon one of the most important social issues not only in Acapulco but also in other cities throughout the world – street children. The main idea of the article is to show that childcare plays one of the significant roles in our society. Street children are those members of our society who need our help and attention. Mrs. Rosa Maria Cruz-Muller is one of those people who is not indifferent to the problems of street children. She became a mother for hundreds of street children who lived on the streets of Acapulco, Mexico and who were not taken care of by their parents and other adults.
My goal in this essay is to analyze, in terms of psychological theory, the above mentioned event.
As the major contexts of child psychology include social, cultural and socioeconomic contexts, it is necessary to apply all of them to the above mentioned event.
The social context is connected with relationships with adults and other children. Street children who lived on the streets of Acapulco have found not only a good friend represented by Mama Rosy who always is ready to listen to their problems but also they have found a place to live where they are given food and clothes. According to the information given in the article, I can say that Mrs. Rosa influenced greatly the development of the children who appeared in her life. She has gained the trust of these children. She says: “I go with them, and I talk to them”. (Romo)
She became the closest person in the life of many Mexican children. It is known that now they come back to her as adults with their families. It is said that Mama Rosa already has 24 non-biological grandchildren. She loves all of them and they love her. Of course, Mrs. Rosa’ character, her kindness, humanity, generosity influenced the development of the street children who came to her house.
The cultural context is connected with the relation of children to Mrs. Rosa, the type of education they received in their life and the childcare Mrs. Rosa gave them. The information given in the article proves the fact that most of Mrs. Rosa’s children have got education. For example, Dythra Lopez whose life was connected with drugs when she was 16, was taken by Mama Rosy and given a good education. Now Dythre is a manager in the convenience store. She has her place to live and she earns enough money to take care of herself. She often visits Mama Rosy and gives her presents.
Speaking about socioeconomic context of the above mentioned case, it is necessary to say that Mrs. Rosy’s children are raised in households with low socioeconomic status that is why they have less access to high level health care and education but she managed to take care of their future and to give them her love, her care and her attention.
Analyzing the above mentioned case, it is necessary to apply some psychological theories to it. I’d like to represent the following ones:
- behavioral child development theories such as the theory of B.Watson, the theory of B. Skinner;
- social child development theories such as the theory of John Bowlby, the theory of Albert Bandura, the theory of Lev Vygotsky.
As behavioral theories show how the environmental interaction affects the behavior of children, I can say that practically all the children of Mrs. Rosy have changed their way of life: they gave up smoking and drinking alcohol, taking drugs. The girls stopped their engaging in prostitution. Most of them have found good jobs and now have an opportunity to buy food and clothes themselves.
According to John Bowlby’s theory the early relationships with caregiver influence the development of children and continue to influence further social relations all through their lives. In our case, Mrs. Rosy helped her non-biological children to become good citizens of Mexico.
According to the theory of Bandura, children learn new behavior from other people’s behavior. They develop new skills and learn new things. Mrs. Rosy became “a hero” for most of her children. (Romo)
According to the theory of Vigotsky, children can learn new things through their hands-on experience. Caregivers and the culture they live in, are responsible for the development of a personality. In our case, all the children of Mrs. Rosy could develop their personalities and become kind and fair people.
In conclusion, it is necessary to say that such people as Mrs. Rosa who “give love to street children” and help them to find the right way in their life and to become kind and fair people, are very important for our society. They influence the psychological development of children positively and can save such children from violence and moral degeneration.
Romo, Rafael. Acapulco Makes Street Children her Mission. CNN World. March 30, 2011. Available from:<http://articles.cnn.com/2011-03-30/world/acapulco.foster.mother_1_street-choldren-acapulco-drug-addicts?_s=PM:WORLD>