Nature and Nurture: The Complex Interplay of Genetic and Environmental Influences on Human Behavior and Development

By Cynthia Garcia Coll; Elaine L. Bearer et al. | Go to book overview

12
Conclusions: Beyond Nature
Versus Nurture to More
Complex, Relational,
and Dynamic
Developmental Systems
Cynthia Garcia Coll
Elaine L. Bearer
Brown University
Richard M. Lerner
Tufts University

Burgeoning biological, developmental, and behavioral evience suggests that human behavior is the result of complex dynamic interactions between genes and the physical-experiential environment, operating at many dimensions from the molecular to the cultural, social, and historical. Questions that arise from the idea that nature can be separated from nurture during the genesis of behavior—such as “What is the relative contribution of genes versus environment in the development of differences in a particular behavior or developmental process?”—have limitations in how well they can help us understand the way patterns of behavior develop, and, as counter factual, may blind us to fruitful avenues of research, policy, and practice.

The scholarship presented in this book, and the broader literatures from which these ideas draw (see Bearer, 1992; Damasio, 1999; Damasio, Harrington, Kagan, McEwen, Moss, & Shaikh, 2001; Lerner, 1984, 2002; Lewis, 2000; Oyama, 2000;

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