Slow Life History Strategies and Increases in Externalizing and Internalizing Problems During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Lei Chang, Yuan Yuan Liu, Hui Jing Lu, Jennifer E. Lansford, Marc H. Bornstein, Laurence Steinberg, Kirby Deater-Deckard, W. Andrew Rothenberg, Ann T. Skinner, Kenneth A. Dodge

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic is but one of many instances of environmental adversities that have recurred in human history. Biobehavioral resource allocation strategies, known as fast (reproduction-focused) versus slow (development-focused) life history (LH) tradeoff strategies, evolved to deal with environmental challenges such as infectious diseases. Based on 141 young people and their mothers observed prior to (ages 9 and 13) and during (age 20) COVID-19, we investigated longitudinal relations involving slow LH strategies. The results support the adaptive role of slow LH strategies in reducing COVID-related increases in externalizing problems. In addition, the effect of early adversity on COVID-related increases in externalizing was mediated, and the effect on COVID-related increases in internalizing was moderated, by slow LH strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-607
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Volume31
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

Keywords

  • adolescent externalizing and internalizing
  • childhood environmental adversity
  • fast and slow life history strategy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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