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Parenting and Family Structure in Jamaica and the Wider Caribbean

jamaican childIn many Western countries, the nuclear family, in which both parents are members of the household, is believed to be ideal. In Jamaica and the wider Caribbean, however, the nuclear family is often the exception rather than the rule. A large proportion of families in the region still consist of only one parent, usually the mother, with fathers adopting a marginal role in child-care and nurturance. According to the UNICEF publication “Situation Analysis of Jamaican Children,”¬†over 45% of the households in Jamaica are female-headed. Such family structures are generally accepted as the norm in the Caribbean, and are often viewed as functional responses to the problems faced by people living in the region. Continue reading

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