In 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
Category Archives: Caribbean Psychology
“Tie the Heifer, Loose the Bull”: Gender Inequality in the Caribbean
For years, the Caribbean has been plagued with the pervasive and enduring problem of gender inequality. Gender, as a social construct, became popular during the 1960’s and 70’s and refers to “a set of qualities and behaviours expected from males and females by society” (United States Agency for International Development [USAID], 2005, p.12). While ‘sex’ refers to differences between males and females which are biologically determined and constant, ‘gender’ refers to those differences which are socially constructed and subject to change. Continue reading
Can Asafa Powell catch Usain Bolt at the London Olympics in 2012?
Jamaica is a sprinting powerhouse. But though the little Caribbean island produces a seemingly endless supply of world class sprinters, and even with the recent rise of young sprinting sensation and reigning World Champion Yohan Blake, Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell remain head and shoulders above the rest. Continue reading
Aggression in Jamaica
In many areas of Jamaica, interpersonal aggression and societal violence are commonplace. Such is the state of affairs that Jamaica has earned the unfavourable reputation of being one of the most violent countries in the world (Hickling, 2008). The staggering statistics attest to this fact. In the year 2000, Jamaica ranked third in the world in murders per capita and in 2005, the annual rate of homicide was more than three times the global average (World Bank, 2007, cited in Smith & Green, 2007). Continue reading