Developmental Psychobiology: The Significance of Infancy

By Lewis P. Lipsitt | Go to book overview

( 1975). According to these authors, prenatal and perinatal biological casualties have rarely been found to have great predictive impact in the absence of understanding of the social and emotional environment in which a child with such a casualty is reared. They were persuaded that mechanistic, unidirectional views of cause and effect explain little in studies of high-risk infants. When they tried to see whether characteristics of infants were predictive of later developmental abnormalities, they were disappointed to find few positive findings. When they looked for characteristics of the caretaking environment by itself, they again found few relationships with later developmental abnormalities in children. Only when they considered (a) the characteristics of both the individual and the caretaking environment and (b) the continuous, circular process of the child constantly affecting the environment and the environment constantly affecting the child did they find successful predictions of later developmental abnormality. Sameroff and Chandler consequently adopted what they called a transactional model, heavily influenced by Waddington 1957) conception of the role of gene action in development.

In his chapter, Freedman has succeeded in reversing the usual thinking that psychologists have had about the role of culture and has explicitly (although briefly) acknowledged the interactive feedback between heredity and culture. As a result, we may be one step closer to a more dynamic conception of genetic-environment interaction, such as has been posited by Waddington, Sameroff, and Chandler, and now by Scarr-Salapatek in her contribution to this volume.


REFERENCES

Bell, R. Q. "A reinterpretation of the direction of effects in studies of socialization". Psychological Review, 1968, 75, 81-95.

Bower, T. G. R. Development in infancy. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman, 1974.

Sameroff, A. J., & Chandler, M. J. "Perinatal risk and the continuum of caretaking casualty". In F. Horowitz, M. Hetherington, S. Scarr-Salapatek, & G. Siegel (Eds.), Review of child development research. Vol. 4. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1975. Pp. 187-244.

Waddington, C. H. The strategy of the genes. New York: Macmillan, 1957.

-57-

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Developmental Psychobiology: The Significance of Infancy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Contributors ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface ix
  • 1: Heart Rate: A Sensitive Tool for the Study of Emotional Development in the Infant 1
  • Acknowledgments 26
  • References 26
  • Comments on "Heart Rate: A Sensitive Tool for the Study of Emotional Development in the Infant" 32
  • References 34
  • 2: Infancy, Biology, and Culture 35
  • References 53
  • Comments on "Infancy, Biology, and Culture" 55
  • References 57
  • 3: Genetic Determinants of Infant Development: An Overstated Case 59
  • References 77
  • Comments on "Genetic Determinants of Infant Development: An Overstated Case" 80
  • References 85
  • 4: From Reflexive to Instrumental Behavior 87
  • Acknowledgments 103
  • References 103
  • Comments on "From Reflexive to Instrumental Behavior" 105
  • References 106
  • A Reply to Freedman 107
  • References 108
  • 5: Developmental Psychobiology Comes of Age: A Discussion 109
  • References 126
  • 6: Three Themes in Develomental Psychobiology 129
  • References 137
  • Author Index 139
  • Topical Index 143
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