v14 i2

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Caribbean Journal of Psychology Volume 14 Issue 2

Edited by Jaipaul L. Roopnarine

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Editorial Board

Jaipaul L. Roopnarine
Syracuse University, USA & Anton de Kom University of Suriname


Marina Ramkissoon
The University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica


Kristen L. Davis
Syracuse University, USA

Camille Alexis-Garsee
Middlesex University, England

Guillermo Bernal
University of Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico

John Berry
Queen’s University Canada, Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russian Federation

Clement Branche
The University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica

Derek Chadee
The University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad

Judith Gibbons
Saint Louis University, USA

Tobi Graafsma
Anton de Kom University, Suriname

Merry Bullock
American Psychological Association, USA

Rita Dudley-Grant
Virgin Islands Behavioural Services, US Virgin Islands

Derrick Gordon
Yale University School of Medicine, USA

Jane Holmes Bernstein
Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, Harvard Medical School, USA

Aminata Cairo
University of Leiden, Netherlands

Gail Ferguson
University of Minnesota, USA

Ishtar Govia
The University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica

Caryl James
The University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica

Barbara Landon
St Georges Medical School, Grenada

Kim Miller
Centers for Disease Control and Emory University, USA

Jacqueline Sharpe
The University of the West Indies Medical School, Trinidad and Tobago

Ava Thompson
University of the Bahamas, Bahamas

Ambika Krishnakumar
Syracuse University, USA

Donna Maria Maynard
The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados

Guerda Nicolas
University of Miami, USA

Orville Taylor
The University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica

Michael C. Lambert
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA

Gillian Mason
The University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica

Marina Ramkissoon
The University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica

David Tennant
The University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica


The present study examined two psychological prerequisites for intrinsic academic motivation–mindset and basic psychological need satisfaction–in samples of secondary school students from Vietnam, The Netherlands and Curaçao (combined N = 882). Both cross-cultural differences regarding mindset and basic psychological need satisfaction were examined, as were relations between these variables. The highest growth mindset and lowest fixed mindset scores were reported by Vietnamese students, who also reported lower competence satisfaction. In addition, only small to medium relationships were found between mindset and basic psychological need satisfaction, indicating that these two prerequisites for intrinsic academic motivation are relatively independent. In two samples, small to medium relationships were found between competence satisfaction, a growth mindset (positive relationship), and a fixed mindset (negative relationship) respectively. The practical implications of these results are discussed.

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High youth crime rates pose a threat to sustainable development in less economically developed regions such as the Caribbean. Despite increasing delinquency trends during home lockdowns in the 2020-2021 COVID pandemic there is limited documentation on the impact of home-based risk and protective factors on delinquent adolescent behaviour. This paper explores the link between family structure, parental involvement, and selected indicators of student behavioural and academic performance among a stratified random sample of Jamaican high school students between the ages of 11–19 years, using a nationally representative dataset (N=3365). Binary logistic regression revealed that parents’ knowledge of their child’s location outside of school hours, control of their child’s curfew, and attention to their child’s schoolwork were significantly associated with the likelihood of truancy and behavioural problems in school over the previous reference year. Parental knowledge of their child’s friends was significantly associated with students’ academic performance. Living arrangements and marital status were important factors associated with parental involvement proxies, with married parents exhibiting the most knowledge of their children’s whereabouts of all structures examined. The results suggest that the impact of family relations and attention may be relevant beyond home contexts and may influence school behaviour and academic performance. It follows that these results provide potential insights into school behaviour management programs aimed at improving overall student behaviour. Insights from this study may also be upscaled and tested in other similar contexts.

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Domestic violence and abuse are widespread in Guyana. According to Guyana’s first National Gender-Based Survey (2019), 1 in every 2 women experiences at least one form of violence and/or abuse. Domestic violence and maltreatment significantly reduce the participation in learning and socialisation among children with special education needs and/or disabilities (SEND). This study highlights the impact of incidents of corporal punishment and domestic abuse on the experiences of neurodivergent children and children with other additional needs constituted by or are contingent upon: diversities, abilities, background, culture, race, gender, socioeconomic status, poverty, neglect and impairments etc. It is part of a previous study of 38 students from two public elementary schools in Guyana. Using an ethnographic approach employed over two school terms from 2018-2019, I conducted participant observations, unstructured interviews, and focus group discussions leveraging social and medical models of disability. Adele Clarke’s (2005) position on using a situational analysis interpretivist approach was embraced to gather and analyse the data. Results indicated that neurodivergent children and children with other additional needs are hurt physically and psychologically using corporal punishment, domestic violence, and marginalization—with race, religion, and ethnicity being the influencing factors.

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Child maltreatment violates children’s rights, and there are no known studies to theorize its relationship with the Human Capability Approach (HCA). This research explored the valorization of child maltreatment as a capability deprivation using Nussbaum’s 10 Central Human Capabilities, adapting The Netherlands National Prevalence Study of Child Maltreatment (NPM, 2010) Survey as a measurement. The sample consisted of 895 Aruban children aged 12–17 years. Results revealed lifetime prevalence of maltreatment at 78.4% and year prevalence at 50.2%. Results also revealed that as the prevalence of maltreatment increased, so did human capability scores, representing children’s failure to enjoy capabilities required for their wellbeing. Recommendations are made to replicate this study in other Caribbean islands pursuant to developing a regional Child Friendliness Index. Further recommendations include introducing the HCA in teacher education, psychology, and social work training programs in the Caribbean.

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This study explored the prevalence of children’s exposure to adult perpetrated domestic violence (DV) in Jamaica and investigated the contextual factors of the affected families and the wellbeing of exposed children. The study was a cross-sectional survey of 7,182 children aged 9–17 years, drawn from 20 primary and secondary schools. Girls comprised 60.8% of the sample, with 69% of the full sample living in rural communities. The surveys were completed in classroom settings. Questions from the IPSCAN Child Abuse Screening Tool (ICASR-C, Runyan et al., 2015) were used to assess respondents’ lifetime experiences of witnessing three forms of adult-perpetrated DV: shouting and screaming that frightened the child; physical violence (e.g., hitting, slapping); and serious violent threat (e.g., use of weapons to threaten or harm). The findings indicated that 41.6% of the children had been exposed to at least one type of DV (22.5% had experienced one, 11.8% had experienced two, and 7.3% had experienced three forms of violence). There was a statistically significant difference in the children’s sense of safety in their homes, depending on whether or not they had been exposed to DV. Those exposed to DV had a lower sense of safety than those not exposed and the more forms of DV experienced, the lower their sense of safety. Of those not exposed, 85.8% reported always feeling safe at home, compared with 37.2% for those exposed to three forms of DV. Study limitations and implications of the findings are discussed.

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Psychology in the Public Interest

This article describes the state of psychology and mental health in Belize. The article first provides a capsule description of the sociohistorical context of Belize, including history, geography, demographics, and human development level. Next, the article describes several salient societal challenges in Belize, including crime, unemployment, natural disasters, and family/gender-based violence. The article then proceeds to describe the history of mental health care in Belize, including notable psychologists, psychiatrists, and facilities, as well as training programs and modes of service provision. The article also describes recent efforts at development and modification of psychometric assessment tools relevant for use in Belize for diagnostic, educational, and clinical purposes. Finally, some attention is devoted to discussion of the role of traditional healing modalities and practitioners, and integration with allopathic practitioners. The article concludes by summarizing both enduring challenges and recent progress related to mental health in Belize.

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