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PSYC 2P12- march 5.docx

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Brock University
Cathy Mondloch

PSYC 2P12 March 5 Individual differences - Genetics (twin studies) o Guesses variability in the onset of puberty o Genetic influence on the timing and changes of puberty; comparing siblings and compare correlations between siblings and the onset of puberty, there is much less change between twins rather than siblings- this suggests that genetics matter - Nutrition o For girls, weight gain in the first 9 months of life, female infants who have high weight gain during those 9 months are much more likely to hit puberty earlier (social implications) o Onset of menarche: good nutrition can facilitate development  Onset at 13 vs 17 years of age; well nourished vs poor nourishment - Stress o Stress can push onset of puberty earlier o Parenting styles can affect onset  Power assertion from mothers onto daughter Vandenberg Effect - Mice living in a female only environment- even the exposure to odor of unrelated males can lead to early maturation o Those female mice will mature earlier than unexposed females - From a biological perspective, the goal in life is to reproduce o The unfamiliar male is an opportunity to reproduce; the adaptive response is to mature more quickly, hence early onset of puberty - In Canadian girls, facilitating puberty can occur in situations with: o Absent father homes o High levels of stress  When girls are stress, they tend to show internalized behaviours  Increased stress can also lead to increased fat content (which is related to early onset) Developmental Pathway Model (Belsky et al., 1991) - Current environment is the best predictor for future environment - Peaceful environment -> delay onset puberty; delay sexual activity; current/future stable relationships - Conflict and father absence -> depression; weight gain; earlier sexual activity; future unstable relationships A Genetic Interpretation (Comings et al., 2002) - Androgen receptor gene (AR) o X-linked o Externalized behaviours are 3 times more likely in males o Related to testosterone; not caused by but there are relations - Why the AR gene? o 16- repeat allele  In males: impulsive, aggressive, more sexual partners  Men with the 16-repeat allele, posses characteristics that make it much more likely for conflict at home, and ultimately more absent, then passing this gene onto their daughter  In females: more likely to experience parental divorce, father absence, earlier puberty Sex Differences - For boys, early puberty can be quite positive, physically and socially - For girls, early puberty can have a lot of negative social consequences o Uncomfortable with self o Attention from
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