Dr. Jay Belsky is an internationally recognized expert in the field of child development and family studies and the Robert
Dr. Jay Belsky is an internationally recognized expert in the field of child development and family studies and the Robert M. And Natalie Reid Dorn Endowed Chair Professor in the Human and Community Department at UC, Davis.
Abstract: An evolutionary biological perspective on the effects of the extra-familial and familial environment on multiple psychological, behavioral and even somatic features of children’s development challenges prevailing thinking about human development which regards some contextual conditions and their sequelae as “good” and others as “bad”. Theory and research on the development of human reproductive strategies based on such evolutionary thinking has developed substantially over the past two decades. Here I review two decades of theory development and research findings pertaining to the development of reproductive strategies, highlighting the contextual regulation of pubertal timing, the distinctive role of father, differential susceptibility to rearing influences, mechanisms of influence and new ways of conceptualizing the environment, while outlining future directions for research.