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The development of reproductive strategy in females: early maternal harshness > earlier menarche > increased sexual risk taking

Belsky, Jay and Steinberg, L. and Houts, R. and Halpern-Felsher, B.L. (2010) The development of reproductive strategy in females: early maternal harshness > earlier menarche > increased sexual risk taking. Developmental Psychology 46 (1), pp. 120-128. ISSN 0012-1649.

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Official URL: http://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1037/a0015549

Abstract

To test a proposition central to J. Belsky, L. Steinberg, and P. Draper’s (1991) evolutionary theory of socialization—that pubertal maturation plays a role in linking early rearing experience with adolescent sexual risk taking (i.e., frequency of sexual behavior) and, perhaps, other risk taking (e.g., alcohol, drugs, delinquency)—the authors subjected longitudinal data on 433 White, 62 Black, and 31 Hispanic females to path analysis. Results showed (a) that greater maternal harshness at 54 months predicted earlier age of menarche; (b) that earlier age of menarche predicted greater sexual (but not other) risk taking; and (c) that maternal harshness exerted a significant indirect effect, via earlier menarche, on sexual risk taking (i.e., greater harshness 3 earlier menarche 3 greater sexual risk taking) but only a direct effect on other risk taking. Results are discussed in terms of evolutionary perspectives on human development and reproductive strategy, and future directions for research are outlined.

Item Type: Article
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2011 14:10
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:18
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/2314

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