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PSYC 414 (2)

Integrating Biological, Behavioral, and Social Levels of Analysis in Early Child Development: Progress, Problems, and Prospects (Granger and Kivlighan)

3 Pages

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 o Thus, 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) o Testosterone’s positive relation w/ risk behavior and negative relation with depression – conditional on quality of parent-child relations  As quality of P-C relations increase, testosterone problems less evident • Social forces moderate biobehavioral relationships in children o Rice (2002): individual differences in maternal sensitivity predicted degree of attunement in M-C’s cortisol responsiveness (preschooler’s exposure to novel and potentially challenging task) • Biosocial models vague – lack specificity, only on abstract level o Studies lack theoretically driven specific or directional hypotheses • Biosocial observations in literature: o Digress to focus on micro-level detail of molecular or cellular biology of HPA o Create a scaffold to support the importance of the observations by speculating well beyond the basic nature of the observed relationships A Critical View of the “Bio” in Biosocial Models Involving the HPA Axis • Assessments often made by single measure, salivary control in biosocial studies o Not very consistent, though usually explained as varying aspects of social context  However, recent research proves only small percentage is explained by this • Salivary cortisol should not be the only thing assessed for the nature and function of HPA axis in child development o DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone): affects diversity of biologic actions  D
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