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PSYC 414 Chapter Notes -Dehydroepiandrosterone, Cortisol, Social Forces

Course Code
PSYC 414
Frances Aboud

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Integrating Biological, Behavioral, and Social Levels of
Analysis in Early Child Development: Progress, Problems,
and Prospects
Granger and Kivlighan
Most well-researched models focus on issues as how intrinsic
dispositions or characteristics of social environments affect individual
and maturational differences
Biological researchers took into account the predisposed, maturational
effects of biology on individual development but not social aspects
except in covariance
Biosocial perspective: living systems theory; development is
considered a product of individual and interactive influences among
genetic, environmental, social, and biological processes overtime
oThus, biological functions behavioral adaptations to
environmental challenge
Ability to measure biological variables noninvasively in saliva test
biosocial models in child development
Biosocial Models: Specificity, Predictions, and Speculation
Center-based child care settings: salivary cortisol increases across the
day (assoc. w/ inhibited behavior)
oTestosterone’s positive relation w/ risk behavior and negative
relation with depression – conditional on quality of parent-child
As quality of P-C relations increase, testosterone problems
less evident
Social forces moderate biobehavioral relationships in children
oRice (2002): individual differences in maternal sensitivity
predicted degree of attunement in M-C’s cortisol responsiveness
(preschooler’s exposure to novel and potentially challenging
Biosocial models vague – lack specificity, only on abstract level
oStudies lack theoretically driven specific or directional
Biosocial observations in literature:
oDigress to focus on micro-level detail of molecular or cellular
biology of HPA
oCreate a scaffold to support the importance of the observations
by speculating well beyond the basic nature of the observed
A Critical View of the “Bio” in Biosocial Models Involving the HPA
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