A Promising Approach to Future Biosocial Research on the Family: Considering the Role of Temporal Context

Chapter
Part of the National Symposium on Family Issues book series (NSFI)

Abstract

A central theme of this volume is the importance of context (and in particular, the family environment) for understanding the role of physiological influences in human behavior, health, and development. In this concluding chapter, we argue for the importance of greater attention to one contextual dimension, temporal context, whose significance is often overlooked. We discuss several examples of temporal context drawn from theoretical frameworks such as ecological perspective and life course theory, including duration of time within a proximal social environment or state, “critical” or sensitive periods of development, developmental period or stage, and historical time. We also discuss another type of temporal context, evolutionary time, which is implicated in studies within evolutionary psychology that focus on historical adaptations of family-related behaviors. Many chapters in this volume implicitly acknowledge the role of temporal context, but few explicitly discuss its importance or estimate its effects. Moreover, none discuss the potential benefit of incorporating temporal context into future biosocial research on the family. In this chapter, we expound upon this point, building the argument that future research on biosocial influences on the family can benefit from explicitly acknowledging and incorporating temporal context in both measurement and theoretical models.

Keywords

Depression Dopamine Cage Tyrosine Cortisol 

Notes

Acknowledgment

The authors received support from the Population Research Institute’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Interdisciplinary Training in Demography (Grant No. T-32HD007514, PI: Gordon DeJong).

References

  1. Anastasi, A. (1958). Heredity, environment, and the question, “how?” Psychological Review, 65, 197–208.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bakermans-Kranenburg M., & van Ijzendoorn, M. H. (2007). Genetic vulnerability or differential susceptibility in child development: The case of attachment. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 48, 1160–1173.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bane, M. J., & Ellwood, D. T. (1986). Slipping into and out of poverty: The dynamics of spells. Journal of Human Resources, 21, l–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Belsky, J. (1997a). Variation in susceptibility to environmental influence: An evolutionary argument. Psychological Inquiry, 8(3), 182–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Belsky, J. (1997b). Theory testing, effect-size evaluation, and differential susceptibility to rearing influence: The case of mothering and attachment. Child Development, 68(4), 598–600.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Belsky, J. (2005). Differential susceptibility to rearing influence: An evolutionary hypothesis and some evidence. In B. J. Ellis & D. F. Bjorklund (Eds.), Origins of the social mind: Evolutionary psychology and child development (pp. 139–163). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  7. Belsky, J., & Pluess, M. (2009). Beyond diathesis-stress: Differential susceptibility to environmental influences. Psychological Bulletin, 135(6), 885–908.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Belsky, J., Steinberg, L., & Draper, P. (1991). Childhood experience, interpersonal development, and reproductive strategy: An evolutionary theory of socialization. Child Development, 62(4), 647–670.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bronfenbrenner, U., & Ceci, S. J. (1994). Nature-nurture reconceptualized in developmental perspective: A bioecological model. Psychological Review, 101, 568–586.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bronfenbrenner, U., & Crouter, A. C. (1983). The evolution of environmental models in developmental research. In P. H. Mussen (Series Ed.) & W. Kessen (Vol. Ed.), Handbook of child psychology: Vol. I. History, theory, and methods (4th ed., pp. 357–414). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  11. Celio, M. R., Spreafico, R., De Biasi, S., & Vitellaro-Zuccarello, L. (1998). Perineuronal nets: Past and present. Trends in Neuroscience, 21, 510–515.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Corter, C. M., & Fleming, A. S. (1995). Psychobiology of maternal behavior in human beings. In M. H. Bornstein (Ed.), Handbook of parenting: Biology and ecology of parenting (pp. 141–182). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  13. Cummins, R. A., Walsh, R. N., Budtz-Olsen, O. E., Konstantinos, T. K., & Horsfall, C. R. (1973). Environmentally-induced changes in the brains of elderly rats. Nature, 243, 516– 518.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Deeb, S. S., & Peng, R. (2000). The C-514T polymorphism in the human hepatic lipase gene promoter diminishes its activity. Journal of Lipid Research, 41, 155–158.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Doody, L. M., Wilhelm, S. I., McKay, D. W., Walsh, C. J., & Storey, A. E. (2008). The effects of variable foraging conditions on common murre (Uria aalge) corticosterone concentrations and parental provisioning. Hormones and Behaviors, 53, 140–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Duncan, G. J., & Rodgers, R. (1991). Has child poverty become more persistent? American Sociological Review, 56, 538–550.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Elder, G. H., Jr. (1977). Family history and the life course. Journal of Family History, 2, 279–304.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Elder, G. H., Jr. (1995). The life course paradigm: Social change and individual development. In P. Moen, G. H. Elder Jr., & K. Lüscher (Eds.), Examining lives in context: Perspectives on the ecology of human development (pp. 101–139). Washington: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Elder, G. H., Jr., & Rockwell, R. C. (1979). The life-course and human development: An ecological perspective. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 2, 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ellis, B., McFadyen-Ketchum, S., Doge, K., Pettit, G., & Bates, J. (1999). Quality of early family relationship and individual differences in timing of pubertal maturation in girls: A longitudinal test of an evolutionary model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77, 387–401.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Evans, G. W., & Schamberg, M. A. (2009). Childhood poverty, chronic stress, and adult working memory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106, 6545–6549.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fleming, A. S., Ruble, D., Krieger, H., & Wong, P. Y. (1997). Hormonal and experiential correlates of maternal responsiveness during pregnancy and the puerperium in human mothers. Hormones and Behavior, 31, 145–158.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fleming, A. S., Steiner, M., & Anderson, V. (1987). Hormonal and attitudinal correlates of maternal behaviour during the early postpartum period in first-time mothers. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 5, 193–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Flinn, M. V., Quinlan, R. J., Turner, M. T., Decker, S. D., & England, B. G. (1996). Male-female differences in effects of parental absence on glucocorticoid stress response. Human Nature, 7, 125–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Fuller, J. L. (1966). Transitory effects of experiential deprivation upon reversal learning in dogs. Psychonomic Science, 4, 273–274.Google Scholar
  26. Furstenberg, F. (1976). Unplanned parenthood: The social consequences of teenage child bearing. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  27. Gilbert, C. D. (1998). Adult cortical dynamics. Physiological Review, 78, 467–485.Google Scholar
  28. Gonzalez, A., Jenkins, J. M., Steiner, M., & Fleming, A. S. (2009). The relation between early life adversity, cortisol awakening response and diurnal salivary cortisol levels in postpartum women. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 34(1), 76–86.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Gottlieb, G. (1992). Individual development and evolution: The genesis of novel behavior. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Gross, C., Zhuang, X., Stark, K., Ramboz, S., Oosting, R. L., Santarelli, L., Beck, S. & He, R. (2002). Serotonin receptor acts during development to establish normal anxiety-like behaviour in the adult. Nature, 416, 396–400.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Guo, G., & Stearns, E. (2002). The social influences on the realization of genetic potential for intellectual development. Social Forces, 80, 881–910.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hensch, T. K. (2004). Critical period regulation. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 27, 549–579.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hollenberg, N. K. (2001). Renal implications of angiotensin receptor blockers [Special issue]. American Journal of Hypertensions, 14, 237–241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Johnson, M. H. (2004). Sensitive periods in functional brain development: Problems and prospects. Developmental Psychobiology, 46, 287–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kaufman, J., Yang, B. Z., Douglas-Palumberi, H., Houshyar, S., Lipschitz, D., Krystal, J. H., et al. (2004). Social support and serotonin transporter gene moderate depression in maltreated children. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 101, 17316–17321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Knudsen, E. I. (2004). Sensitive periods in the development of brain and behavior. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 16, 1412–1425.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Korenman, S., Miller, J. E., & Sjaastad, J. E. (1995). Long-term poverty and child development in the United States: Results from the NLSY. Children and Youth Services Review, 17, 127–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kuhl, P. K. (2000). A new view of language acquisition. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 97, 11850–11857.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Linkenhoker, B. A., & Knudsen, E. I. (2002). Incremental training increases the plasticity of the auditory space map in adult barn owls. Nature, 419, 293–296.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Magnusson, D., & Cairns, R. B. (1996). Developmental science: Toward a unified framework. In R. B. Cairns, G. H. Elder, & E. J. Costello (Eds.), Developmental science (pp. 7–30). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  41. McCandliss, B. D., Fiez, J. A., Protopapas, A., Conway, M., & McClelland, J. L. (2002). Success and failure in teaching the r-l contrast to Japanese adults: Predictions of a hebbian model of plasticity and stabilization in spoken language perception. Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience, 2, 89–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. McEwen, B. S. (2004). Protective and damaging effects of stress mediators. In J. T. Cacioppo & G. G. Berntson (Eds.), Essays in social neuroscience (pp. 41–51). Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  43. Morgan, S. P., & Taylor, M. G. (2006). Low fertility at the turn of the twenty-first century. Annual Review of Sociology, 32, 375–399.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Neiss, M., & Almeida, D. M. (2004). Age differences in the heritability of mean and intraindividual variation of psychological distress. Gerontology, 50, 22–27.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Nigg, J. (2008). Genetic and environmental factors in ADHD: New insights from lead exposure studies. Paper presented at the John Merck Fund Summer Institute on the biology of development disabilities, Ithaca.Google Scholar
  46. Oyama, S. (1982). A reformulation of the idea of maturation. In P. P. G. Bateson & P. H. Klopfer (Eds.), Perspectives in ethology, Vol. V: Ontogeny (pp. 101–131). New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  47. Propper, C., Moore, G. A., Mills-Koonce, W. R., Halpern, C. T., Hill-Soderlund, A. L., & Cakins, S. D., et al. (2008). Gene-environment contributions to the development of infant vagal reactivity: The interaction of dopamine and maternal sensitivity. Child Development, 79, 1377–1394.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Riege, W. H. (1971). Environmental influences on brain and behavior of year-old rats. Developmental Psychobiology, 4, 157–167.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Rosenzweig, M. R. (2007). Modification of brain circuits through experience. In F. Bermudez-Rattoni (Ed.), Neural plasticity and memory: From genes to brain imaging. Boca Raton: CRC Press.Google Scholar
  50. Sale, A., Maya Vetencourt, J. F., Medini, P., Cenni, M. C., Baroncelli, L., De Pasquale, R., et al. (2007). Environmental enrichment in adulthood promotes amblyopia recovery through a reduction of intracortical inhibition. Nature Neuroscience, 10, 679–681.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Scarr, S. (1992). Developmental theories for the 1990s: Development and individual differences. Child Development, 63, 1–19.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Sibille, E., Pavlides, C., Benke, D., & Toth, M. (2000). Genetic inactivation of the Serotonin(1A) receptor in mice results in downregulation of major GABA(A) receptor alpha subunits, reduction of GABA(A) receptor binding, and benzodiazepine-resistant anxiety. Journal of Neuroscience, 20, 2758–2765.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Stattin, H., & Magnusson, D. (1990). Pubertal maturation in female development. In D. Magnusson (Ed.), Paths through life (Vol. 2). Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  54. Szyf, M., McGowan, P., & Meaney, M. J. (2008). The social environment and the epigenome. Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis, 49, 46–60.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Turkheimer, E., Haley, A., Waldron, M., D’Onofrio, B., & Gottesman, I. I. (2003). Socioeconomic status modifies heritability of IQ in young children. Psychological Science, 14, 623–628.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Udry, J. (1996). Biosocial models of low-fertility societies. In J. Casterline, R. Lee, & K. Foote (Eds.), Fertility in the United States: New patterns, new theories (pp. 325–336). New York: The Population Council.Google Scholar
  57. van den Bos, R., Harteveld, M., & Stoop, H. (2009). Stress and decision-making in humans: Performance is related to cortisol reactivity, albeit differently in men and women. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 34, 1449–1458.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Weaver, C. G., Cervoni, N., Champagne, F. A., D’Alessio, A. C., Sharma, S., Seckl, J. R., et al. (2004). Epigenetic programming by maternal behavior. Nature Neuroscience, 7(8), 847–854.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Weaver, C. G., Champagne, F. A., Brown, S. E., Dymov, S., Sharma, S., Meaney, M. J., & et al. (2005). Reversal of maternal programming of stress responses in adult offspring through methyl supplementation: Altering epigenetic marking later in life. The Journal of Neuroscience, 25(47), 11045–11054.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Werker, J., & Tees, R. (2005). Speech perception as a window for understanding plasticity and commitment in language systems of the brain. Developmental Psychobiology, 46, 233–251.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Wiesel, T. N., & Hubel, D. H. (1963). Effects of visual deprivation on morphology and physiology of cells in the cats lateral geniculate body. Journal of Neurophysiology, 26, 978–993.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  62. Will, B. E., Dalrymple-Alford, J. C., Wolff, M., & Cassel, J. (2008). Reflections on the use of the concept of plasticity in neurobiology. Behavioral Brain Research, 1, 33–47.Google Scholar
  63. Wolf, O. T., Schommer, N. C., Helhammer, D. H., McEwen, B. S., & Kirschbaum, C. (2001). The relationship between stress induced cortisol levels and memory differs between men and women. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 26, 711–720.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Zuckerman, M. (1999). Vulnerability to psychopathology: A biosocial model. Washington: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

Personalised recommendations