Nature, Nurture, and the Transition to Early Adolescence

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Overview


Some of the most intriguing issues in the study of cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development arise in the debate over nature versus nurture; a debate difficult to resolve because it is difficult to separate the respective contributions of genes and environment to development. The most powerful approach to this separation is through longitudinal adoption studies. The Colorado Adoption Project (CAP) is the only longitudinal adoption study in existence examining development continuously from birth to adolescence, which makes it a unique, powerful, and tremendously valuable resource. CAP is an ongoing assessment of 245 adopted children and 245 biological control children assessed from birth to early adolescence. This book is the fourth in a series describing CAP results. This latest volume, edited by four eminent researchers in developmental psychology, builds on the large body of research already generated by investigating the role of genes and environments on early adolescent development. Because it is the only volume on the most comprehensive investigation of the effect of genes and environments on early adolescent development, this work will be invaluable to researchers in developmental, cognitive, and social psychology.
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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: This is the fourth book in a series describing results from the Colorado Adoption Project (CAP), which began in 1975 and followed a sample of adopted and nonadopted children and their families. This volume focuses on CAP results from ages 9 to 12.
Purpose: According to the editors, the book "presents the segment of research from the ongoing Colorado Adoption Project (CAP) that considers the role of genes and environments in early adolescent cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development, as well as the social interactions associated with these developing competencies." The book meets these worthy objectives.
Audience: The editors do not really say who the target audience is, but it appears that researchers in adolescent development would benefit the most. The editors and contributors are credible authorities, because they were all involved in the research study in one way or another.
Features: The book covers the results of the project, including cognitive (intelligence, memory, reading), physical (somatic complaints, attention problems), social (adjustment, loneliness, social relations), and emotional (temperament, behavior problems). It takes into consideration the role of genetics and environment (nature vs. nurture). The book presents research results in all their glory. However, this makes it difficult to read because the results are highlighted at the expense of the discussion of what it all really means.
Assessment: The book addresses crucial issues in adolescent development through the presentation of the results of a longitudinal study comparing adoptive vs. nonadoptive children and families. However, I was hoping for a better explanation of what the results really mean, which gets lost in all the statistical analyses. This is an excellent volume for the avid researcher, but as a psychologist who is involved mostly in clinical work, I found it difficult to get to the information I really wanted to see.

3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195157475
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/28/2003
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Pennsylvania State University

Institute of Psychiatry, London

Both at Institute for Behavioral Genetics, University of Colorado

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Table of Contents

Contributors
1. Nature, Nurture, and Adolescent Development: An Introduction, Stephen A. Petrill, Robert Plomin, John C. DeFries, and John K. Hewitt
2. Developmental Analysis of IQ, E. G. Bishop, Stacey S. Cherny, and John K. Hewitt
3. Multivariate Parent-Offspring Analyses of Specific Cognitive Abilities, Maricela Alarcón, Robert Plomin, Robin P. Corley, and John C. DeFries
4. Etiology of the Stability of Reading Performance from 7 to 12 Years of Age and Its Possible Mediation by IQ, Sally J. Wadsworth and John C. DeFries
5. Memory Ability during Middle Childhood and Early Adolescence in the Colorado Adoption Project, Stephen A. Petrill and Sally-Ann Rhea
6. Somatic Complaints from Early Childhood to Early Adolescence, Nicholas Giardino and Richard Rende
7. Teacher and Mother Ratings of Attention Problems, Stephanie Schmitz
8. Adopted and Nonadopted Adolescents' Adjustment, Alessandra C. Iervolino
9. Stability and Change in Internalizing Problems in the Transition to Early Adolescence: Genetic and Environmental Influences, Kirby Deater-Deckard and Shirley McGuire
10. Loneliness during the Transition to Early Adolescence, Shirley McGuire and Jeanie Clifford
11. Genetic Influences on Temperament in Early Adolescence: A Multimethod Perspective, Jeffrey R. Gagne, Kimberly J. Saudino, and Stacey S. Cherny
12. Links between Temperament and Behavior Problems in Early Adolescence, Stephanie Schmitz and Kimberly J. Saudino
13. Using the Social Relations Model to Examine Correlates of Adolescent Humor: The Role of Temperament and Well-Being, Beth Manke and Coleen Carlson
14. Effects of Prenatal Smoking on 12-Year-Old Children's Cognitive and Behavioral Outcomes, Michelle Ward and Laura A. Baker
15. A Genetic Analysis of Extremes in Externalizing Behavioral Problems and Negative Family Environments, Kirby Deater-Deckard
16. Maternal Reports of Differential Treatment during Early Adolescence: A Longitudinal Study of Genetic Influences and Links to Child Well-Being, Rebecca Hobson, Beth Manke, and Shirley McGuire
17. Genetic Influences on Life Events in Middle Childhood and Early Adolescence, Kimberly J. Saudino, Jeffrey R. Gagne, and Madeline Becker
18. The Developmental Trajectory of Genotype-Environment Correlation in Early Adolescence, Erica L. Spotts and Jenae M. Neiderhiser
19. Conclusions, Stephen A. Petrill, Robert Plomin, John C. DeFries, and John K. Hewitt
Names Index
Subject Index

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