Child attachment in adjusting the species-general contingency between environmental adversities and fast life history strategies

Huijing Lu, Yuan Yuan Liu, Lei Chang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Extrinsic mortality risks calibrating fast life history (LH) represent a species-general principle that applies to almost all animals including humans. However, empirical research also finds exceptions to the LH principle. The present study proposes a maternal socialization hypothesis, whereby we argue that the more human-relevant attachment system adds to the LH principle by up- and down-regulating environmental harshness and unpredictability and their calibration of LH strategies. Based on a longitudinal sample of 259 rural Chinese adolescents and their primary caregivers, the results support the statistical moderating effect of caregiver–child attachment on the relation between childhood environmental adversities (harshness and unpredictability) and LH strategies. Our theorizing and findings point to an additional mechanism likely involved in the organization and possibly the slowdown of human LH.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to) 719 - 730
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopment and Psychopathology
Volume34
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2022

Keywords

  • caregiver-child attachment
  • childhood environmental harshness and unpredictability
  • fast and slow human life history strategies
  • internal working models
  • risk aversion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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