Article

An Evolutionary Perspective on Child Development in the Context of War and Political Violence

Jay Belsky

in The Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Perspectives on Violence, Homicide, and War

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199738403
Published online November 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199738403.013.0023

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 An Evolutionary Perspective on Child Development in the Context of War and Political Violence

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Lethal intergroup conflict has been part of the human experience ever since our species emerged on the African savannah. Modern evolutionary thinking suggests that children's development could have evolved a variety of responses to it, some of which are highlighted upon considering, from the field of behavioral ecology, life-history theory, and, derived from it, Belsky, Steinberg, and Draper's (1991) evolutionary theory of socialization. This speculative chapter examines the implications of such thinking, specifically with regard to insecure attachment, anxiety, depression, aggression, pubertal and sexual development, and mating and parenting. Considered, too, are issues of intergenerational transmission and variation in developmental reactivity to exposure to deadly political violence of the ethnic-cleansing variety in childhood.

Keywords: attachment; evolution; life history; puberty; reproductive strategy

Article.  13504 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology ; Developmental Psychology

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