The evolved developmental niche in childhood: Relation to adult psychopathology and morality

Darcia Narvaez, Lijuan Wang, Ying Cheng
2016 Applied Developmental Science  
URL: Abstract Following prior work linking childhood experience to adult outcomes, we used an evolutionary framework to examine effects of childhood experience on adult psychopathology and morality. Every animal provides an early life developmental system, developmental manifold or "niche" for its young, a set of inherited extra-genetic characteristics that match up with the maturational schedule of the offspring to optimize development. Humans inherit a
more » ... umans inherit a niche first shaped over 30 million years ago with the emergence of social mammals and modified through human evolution. The human "evolved developmental niche" (EDN) has been related to positive outcomes in young children. Using an adult sample (n=606), we examined adult retrospective recollection of childhood EDN and its relation to psychopathology, sociomoral capacities and ethical orientations. Significant direct and indirect effects were found through mediation models, with EDN predicting Social Engagement orientation through perspective taking, Social Opposition orientation through lack of perspective taking and Social Withdrawal orientation through personal distress.
doi:10.1080/10888691.2015.1128835 fatcat:jcrhpegrfffuvfwwyvdnb5z2vu