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The relation between emotional and social development and family structure in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, was examined. Children between the ages of 4 and 9 living in extended and nuclear families were compared on mothers' ratings of a range of childhood problems. Analysis revealed that children in nuclear families had more conduct, emotional, and sleep problems, poorer self-care, and were more likely to be overdependent than those living in extended families. They were also less likely to be breast fed, to be weaned later, and to have grandmothers involved in child care. Linear multiple regression revealed that, of these 3 childcare factors, grandmother's involvement was the strongest predictor of normal social and emotional adjustment. The possible protective characteristics of the extended family are discussed in relation to the importance of the grandmother as maternal advisor, social support, and socialization agent.