News Releases

Book examines how we raise our Caribbean children

For Release Upon Receipt - November 26, 2015

St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad and Tobago. November 25, 2015 – One in five children are at higher risk of not achieving their academic or intellectual potential due to poverty. This is one of the conclusions of a 2009 study on the psychological, physical and demographic state of children aged 4 to 5 in the English-speaking Caribbean. The findings have been published in a new book by The UWI’s Family Development and Children’s Research Centre (UWI-FDCRC) in collaboration with the UNICEF Eastern Caribbean Office and the Ministry of Education. The book, “Childrearing Practices in the Caribbean: Lessons and Implications from a National Assessment in Trinidad and Tobago,” was launched on November 17 at the UWI-FDCRC.   

“Nobel Laureates, policy experts, economists, and social scientists have pointed to the importance of investing in families and children and the potential economic and social returns to society from such investment” said Dr Carol Logie, Administrative Director of The UWI-FDCRC. Dr Logie and Dr Jaipaul Roopnarine of Syracuse University are the editors of the book.  

The study assessed 1,504 families from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds and highlights data collected in a number of other areas that concern policy-makers and child development practitioners.  

Other noteworthy findings include:

  • Both the high levels of warmth and high levels of harshness employed during parenting: these practices challenge the best laid theories and perspectives on appropriate parenting and point to the need to address harsh parenting and the consequences for development in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean region;

  • Parents use high levels of religious, ethnic, and academic socialization during childrearing. These practices bode well for insulating children from risk factors within families and in distressed neighbourhoods;

  • Parents have a good working knowledge of certain developmental milestones but they have earlier developmental expectations of children in the academic skills area. While this is not surprising in Caribbean cultural communities, pressures to achieve beyond children’s abilities can cause distress and anxiety in children and invite inappropriate parenting practices (e.g., abuse); and

  • The family remains a major source of values and shoulders much of the early responsibility for the internalization or moral values.


    “Childrearing Practices in the Caribbean: Lessons and Implications from a National Assessment in the Caribbean” is available at The UWI-FDCRC for TT$350. For further details, please contact the UWI-FDCRC at 662-2665 or email



    About The UWI

    Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. Website:


    (Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)