Afternoon Workshop 4

Understanding Child Development and Parenting Through a Cultural Lens

Presented by Yolanda Hawkins-Rodgers, Ph.D.


This presentation examines the parental assumptions regarding what constitutes the concept of normal development/ behavior which has meaning only as it is interpreted and accepted across cultures. The multicultural perspective on development takes into account that the child should be understood within the social systems in which the child operates. Understanding cultural differences in child rearing practices and the role this plays in the development of treatment modalities is critical to becoming culturally competent when working with children and families.

Learning Objectives

Participants will:
1. Examine individualistic vs. collectivistic cultures’ impact on children.
2. Examine the role of race and ethnicity in shaping child development.
3. Examine parental similarities and differences in early development across cultures.

Presenter Information

Yolanda Hawkins-Rodgers is chair of the psychology and counseling department at Fairleigh Dickinson university. She teaches courses in the graduate Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. She is a licensed psychologist, a licensed professional counselor and a  certified clinical supervisor. She also does expert witness evaluations for the department of Child Protection and Germany children. She has been an invited workshop trainer on multicultural issues for several agencies within New Jersey.

She has worked on numerous boards within the community as well as with educational organizations throughout the state regarding multicultural issues. She has served on the Bergen County Mental Health Board. Dr. Hawkins-Rodgers has developed many training workshops and presented papers at national conferences regarding educational and clinical issues. She has received recognition from state wide organizations for her continued efforts in these areas. Her current research interest is on family relational aggression and she is also developing a book on college students and delayed adulthood.

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