Nutrition, Environment, and Child Behavior

  • Merrill S. Read
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 14)


Current research is increasingly pointing toward interactions between malnutrition, psychosocial environment, and child development. The papers of Dr. Cravioto and Dr. Pollitt, both of which illustrate ecological or observational types of studies in natural settings, clearly show a clustering of environmental factors which accompany malnutrition (whether seen in rural Mexico or urban United States) which may, in their own right, adversely affect behavioral development. Another large project underway in Guatemala is utilizing a medical-nutritional intervention research design (Canosa et al., 1972). The Guatemalan investigators find two main clusters of environmental factors which influence child development. The first is labeled HOUSE and includes the quality of the house itself, hygienic conditions, crowding, and the human life style that occurs in the house. The second cluster is described as TEACH and is derived from the varied interactions between family members and the individual child, thus contributing to learning experiences. The similarity between these observations and those reported by Cravioto and Pollitt are obvious (Klein et al., 1972).


Child Behavior Iron Deficiency Anemia Behavioral Development Malnourished Child Observational Type 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Merrill S. Read
    • 1
  1. 1.Growth and Development BranchNational Institute of Child Health and Human DevelopmentBethesdaUSA

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