This study aims to identify the developmental status and characteristics of the young children of multicultural families in Korea and in doing so, hopes to offer suggestions for customized supporting policy measures. Starting from the assumption that the children of multicultural families are likely to show weak development, the study also attempted to understand the diverse and differentiated nature of their development and examined whether such differences should be seen as reasonable, with a view to providing some insight into how future policy should change to better support the children of multicultural families. The child development tests were undertaken with 534 and young children age between 2 and 6, while surveys were conducted on their mothers. The subjects were from either international marriage families (488 children, 91.4%) or foreign workers’ families (46 children, 8.6%) who volunteered to participate. Furthermore, surveys were conducted on teachers and school principals working with the young children of multicultural families in order to examine their perceptions of the developmental status of such children.
The results of development tests on infants and children of multicultural families were as follows. In terms of their physical development, by calculating obesity levels based on height and weight 82.8% of the children were categorized as normal, 6.7% were obese, and 4.9% were underweight.
In terms of language development, the Receptive and Expressive Vocabulary Test (REVET) indicated that there was no meaningful gap between the children’s expressive and receptive languages. More than half of the children displayed normal (45~47%) or superb results (8-10%) in their language development, with about indicating 40% delayed development. In terms of cognitive development the cognitive assessment test (K-ABC: Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children), produced the following results; on average, the children recorded scores of 100.3 in sequential processing and 108.7 in simultaneous processing, and their scores for of the two sectors combined resulted in an average score of 105.7, which indicates that their simultaneous processing scores were slightly higher than their sequential processing scores. Overall, the average scores for the children of multicultural families who completed the test were average or above average.
In terms of social-emotional development, the SCBE test (Social Competence and Behavior Evaluation -Preschool Edition) revealed that, overall, as they grow older, the children exhibit more pro-social behaviors and social competence and experience more internalizing problems, whilst their externalizing problems decreased. The test also indicated that girls were scored significantly higher than boys in terms of pro-social behaviors, overall social-emotional development and social competence. Meanwhile, teachers responding to the SCBE rated the children’s social-emotional and pro-social development and social competence development as generally good, and rated their problematic behaviors as largely negligible.
In terms of the factors which influence the children’s language, cognitive and social-emotional development, their own language and cognitive competence appeared to be the most influential, followed by the mother’s age and language competence, the father’s academic background, the child’s gender, and the mother’s parenting behaviors. These findings suggest that while environmental factors such as their mother’s age and language competence and their father’s academic background are important influences on their children’s development, internal factors such as the child’s language competence, cognitive ability and gender were also very significant. In other words, as their the more developed their cognitive and language abilities, the greater the likelihood that they are better able to control their anger, express less aggression, and be more socially and emotionally competent. This would appear to be related to the mother’s language proficiency and her quality of interaction with the children.
The developmental status of the infants and children of multicultural families was divided into three groups, and the results are as follows. A majority of the children (55%) were recognized as possessing “superb language and cognitive abilities,” 19% possessed “superb social-emotional (physical) competence,” skills and 26% possessed “delayed development” skills. In summary, the developmental status and ability levels of the children of multicultural families showed some degree of variance, while the gap between the “superb” and “good” groups and the “delayed” developmental groups was significant. These findings point to the need for policy measures which are sufficiently diverse and customized to take into consideration the varied developmental levels, areas and the ages of the children of multicultural families so as to ensure that these variations in development do not lead to further exacerbation and polarization of these differences.
Table Of Contents
Ⅱ. 이론적 배경
Ⅲ. 다문화가족 영유아 현황과 관련 제도 및 발달 지원 정책
Ⅳ. 다문화가족 조사대상자 특성
Ⅴ. 다문화가족 영유아 발달 실태
Ⅵ. 다문화아동의 발달 유형
Ⅶ. 다문화아동 발달유형에 따른 맞춤형 지원 방안