Belsky, Steinberg, and Draper’s (1991; Belsky 2012) theory of the development of reproductive strategies – also known as “psychosocial acceleration theory” – stipulates that the degree to which children experience supportive vs. unsupportive care in their first 5–7 years of life influences their orientation toward others, the timing of their pubertal development (distinguishing fast vs. slow developers), their sexual behavior, the stability of their male-female relationships, the quality of their parenting, and the number of children they bear (i.e., their reproductive strategy), all in the service of dispersing their genes in future generations (i.e., reproductive fitness).
Most theory and research concerned with how developmental experiences and environmental exposures influence human development, especially in the early years of life, are guided by a mental-health framework. This presumes that certain environmental...
- Belsky, J., Steinberg, L., Houts, R. M., Halpern-Felsher, B. L., & The NICHD Early Child Care Research Network. (2010). The development of reproductive strategy in females: Early maternal harshness→earlier menarche→increased sexual risk taking. Developmental Psychology, 46, 120–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar