Brief Report

Infantile Colic Among The Traditional Shona People: An Ethnopsychological perspective

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 16, issue 1, 2006 , pages: 119–122
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2006.10820111
Author(s): Calvin GwandureUniversity of the Witwatersrand,


The study provides an ethnopsychological view of infantile colic among the Shona people. Ethnopsychological perspectives are culturally grounded views of psychological phenomena, and intersect a number of disciplines, including anthropology, sociology and cultural psychology. The study considered Shona perspectives on the aetiology, diagnosis and treatment of colic among the traditional Shona people from their cultural lenses. Unlike Western perspectives which regard infantile colic as primarily reactive physiological phenomenon to gastrointestinal disorders or other psychosomatic stimulation, the traditional Shona people emphasize the social aspects of infantile colic. They may also ascribe infantile colic to diseases of childhood and the influence of supernatural powers.

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