Ancestral Landscapes in Human Evolution: Culture, Childrearing and Social Wellbeing

ISBN : 9780199964253

Darcia Narvaez; Kristin Valentino; Agustin Fuentes; James J. McKenna; Peter Gray; Kristin Valentino
364 ページ
163 x 241 mm

The social contexts in which children develop have transformed over recent decades, but also over millennia. Modern parenting practices have diverged greatly from ancestral practices, which included natural childbirth, extensive and on-demand breastfeeding, constant touch, responsiveness to the needs of the child, free play in nature with multiple-aged playmates, and multiple adult caregivers. Only recently have scientists begun to document the outcomes for the presence or absence of such parenting practices, but early results indicate that psychological wellbeing is impacted by these factors. Ancestral Landscapes in Human Evolution addresses how a shift in the way we parent can influence child outcomes. It examines evolved contexts for mammalian development, optimal and suboptimal contexts for human evolved needs, and the effects on children's development and human wellbeing. Bringing together an interdisciplinary set of renowned contributors, this volume examines how different parenting styles and cultural personality influence one another. Chapters discuss the nature of childrearing, social relationships, the range of personalities people exhibit, the social and moral skills expected of adults, and what 'wellbeing' looks like. As a solid knowledge base regarding normal development is considered integral to understanding psychopathology, this volume also focuses on the effects of early childhood maltreatment. By increasing our understanding of basic mammalian emotional and motivational needs in contexts representative of our ancestral conditions, we may be in a better position to facilitate changes in social structures and systems that better support optimal human development. This book will be a unique resource for researchers and students in psychology, anthropology, and psychiatry, as well as professionals in public health, social work, clinical psychology, and early care and education.


About the Editors
SECTION ONE: Baselines For Human Mammalian Development
Chapter 1. Children's Development in Light of Evolution and Culture
Darcia Narvaez, Peter Gray, James J. McKenna, Agustin Fuentes, and Kristin Valentino
Chapter 2. The Epigenetics of Mammalian Parenting
Frances A. Champagne
Commentary: As Time Goes By, A Touch is More Than Just a Touch
Eric E. Nelson
Chapter 3. Nonhuman primate models of mental health: Early life experiences affect developmental trajectories
Amanda M. Dettmer, Stephen J. Suomi, and Katherine Hinde
Commentary: Look how far we have come: A bit of consilience in elucidating the role of caregivers in relationship to their developing primate infants and children
James J. McKenna
SECTION TWO: Evolution's Baseline: Hunter Gatherer Contexts
Chapter 4. Relationships and Resource Uncertainty: Cooperative Development of Efe Hunter-Gatherer Infants and Toddlers
Gilda Morelli, Paula Ivey Henry, and Steffen Foerster
Commentary: Social Connectedness vs. Mothers on Their Own: Research on Hunter-Gather Tribes Highlights the Lack of Support Mothers and Babies Receive in the U.S.
Kathy Kendall-Tackett
Chapter 5. Batek childrearing and morality
Karen L. Endicott and Kirk M. Endicott
Commentary: Parenting in the Modern Jungle
Michael Jindra
Chapter 6. Cosleeping Beyond Infancy: Culture, Ecology, and Evolutionary Biology of Bedsharing among Aka Foragers and Ngandu Farmers of Central Africa
Barry Hewlett and Jennifer W. Roulette
Commentary: Intertwining the Influences of Culture and Ecology Broadens a Definition of the Importance of Closeness in Care
Wendy Middlemiss
Chapter 7. The Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness, rough-and-tumble play, and the selection of restraint in human aggression
Douglas Fry
Commentary: Evolutionary Adaptation and Violent Aggression: From Myths to Realities
Riane Eisler
Chapter 8. The Play Theory of Hunter-Gatherer Egalitarianism
Peter Gray
Commentary: Comparative Studies of Social Play, Fairness, and Fitness: What We Know and Where We Should be Heading
Marc Bekoff
SECTION THREE: Contexts for the Evolution of Families and Children
Chapter 9. Incentives in the family I: The family firm, an evolutionary/economic theory for parent-offspring relations
Joan Roughgarden and Zhiyuan Song
Chapter 10. Preliminary steps towards addressing the role of non-adult individuals in human evolution
Agustin Fuentes
Commentary: Conflict and evolution
Melvin Konner
SECTION FOUR: Contexts Gone Awry
Chapter 11. Child Maltreatment and Early Mother-Child Interactions
Kristin Valentino, Michelle Comas, and Amy K. Nuttall
Commentary: Ancestral attachment: How the evolutionary foundation of attachment informs our understanding of child maltreatment interventions
Alyssa Crittenden
Chapter 12. The Importance of the Developmental Perspective in Evolutionary Discussions of PTSD
Robyn Bluhm and Ruth A. Lanius
Commentary: The modeling of complex PTSD can benefit from the careful integration of evolutionary and developmental accounts
Pierre Lienard
Chapter 13. From the Emergent Drama of Interpretation to Enscreenment
Eugene Halton
Commentary: Darwinism and Children
Jonathan Marks
SECTION FIVE: Child Flourishing
Chapter 14. Children's Environments and Flourishing
Tracy Gleason and Darcia Narvaez
Chapter 15: Postscript: Back to the Future
James McKenna


Darcia Narvaez is Professor of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Narvaez's research focuses on moral development through the lifespan. ; Kristin Valentino is Assistant Professor of Psychology and the William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families Collegiate Chair at the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Valentino's research interests are in developmental psychopathology.; Agustin Fuentes is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Fuentes' current foci include cooperation and bonding in human evolution, ethnoprimatology and multispecies anthropology.; James McKenna is Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C., Professor of Anthropology at the University of Notre Dame. Dr. McKenna pioneered the first behavioral and electro-physiological studies documenting differences between mothers and infants sleeping together.; Peter Gray is Research Professor of Psychology at Boston College. Dr. Gray has conducted and published research in neuroendocrinology, animal behavior, developmental psychology, anthropology, and education.