Date of Completion


Embargo Period



parents, practices, childcare, practices, urban, rural, customs, training, developmental expectations, teachers, grandparents

Major Advisor

Sara Harkness

Associate Advisor

Charles Super

Associate Advisor

Maria LaRusso

Field of Study

Human Development and Family Studies


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Campus Access


Raising young children in Botswana was traditionally a communal effort shared by the child’s parents and the extended family members in a kinship system. However, the economic and social transformations that are taking place in Botswana have altered the traditional child upbringing to involve paid caregivers unrelated to the children or their families. This new model of raising children in Botswana brings in new questions about possible inconsistencies among various child caregivers with regard their expectations for young children’s development, and the practices used to encourage attainment of developmental goals. This dissertation explores this issue through three related manuscripts focused on “developmental timetables,” or expectations about ages by which young children should achieve a variety of competencies. Using mixed methods (a questionnaire and focus groups), the first paper explores relationships between parents’ education, age, and type of setting (urban or rural) on one hand, and on the other, expectations they have for their preschool-attending children and how they promote the development of these skills. The second paper, also using mixed methods, compares parents’ and preschool teachers’ developmental expectations for children at the ages of 3 to 5 years, and how each group of caregivers promotes the development of the expected skills. The third paper compares developmental expectations of urban and rural grandparents of preschoolers, based on focus groups only. The results suggest general agreement among these groups in many respects, but with some distinctive patterns of differences among them. Implications for policy, practice and research are discussed.

Tsamaase MM Dissertation - final.docx (1612 kB)
final dissertation