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A topical approach to life span development, 6e chapter 2

Biological Beginnings
Chapter 2


The Evolutionary
Perspective


Natural selection


Those individuals of a species that are a best
adapted are the ones that survive and reproduce.



They pass on their characteristics to the next
generation




They are better adapted to their world than nonsurvivors



Charles Darwin


The Evolutionary
Perspective


Evolutionary Psychology


Emphasizes the importance of adaptation,
reproduction, and "survival of the fittest" in
shaping behavior



Behaviors that increase reproductive success



How we make decisions, how aggressive we are,
our fears, and our mating patterns


Genetic Foundations of
Development


Genetic influences on behavior evolved over time
and across many species.



DNA - not just inherited from parents, but what we
inherited as a species from other species, that were
our ancestors.



Genetic Foundations of
Development


Chromosomes- structures made up of DNA


The nucleus of each human cell contains
chromosomes



DNA- Complex molecule that contains genetic
information



Genes- The units of hereditary information, short
segments of DNA


Genetic Foundations of
Development


Genes are passed on through 3 processes


Mitosis- cell reproduction, cells nucleus duplicates
and the cell divides



Meiosis- cell division that occurs to form eggs and
sperm (Gametes)



Fertilization-egg and sperm fuse to create a
single cell, call a zygote


Genetic Foundations of
Development


Genotype-A persons genetic heritage; the actual
genetic material



Phenotype-The way an individual genotype is
expressed in observed and measurable
characteristics


Physical characteristics and psychological
characteristics


Genetic Foundations of
Development


Chromosomal Abnormalities (see chart in text)


Down Syndrome - Mild to severe intellectual disability and
physical abnormalities



Klinefelter syndrome (XXY)- physical abnormalities



Fragile X syndrome- intellectual disability, learning disability,
short term attention span



Turner Syndrome (XO)-intellectual disability and sexual
underdevelopment



XYY syndrome- above average height


Genetic Foundations of
Development


Gene-linked abnormalities (Mental concerns) - see
chart in text


Huntington disease - problems with muscle
coordination and mental deterioration



Phenylketonuria (PKU) - intellectual disability



Spina Bifida - brain and spine abnormalities



Tay-Sachs disease- deceleration of mental and
physical development


Genetic Foundations of
Development


Genetic Counselor


Identify and analyze inheritance patterns and
explore options with the family



Understand the kinds of problems, the odds of
encountering them, and helpful strategies for
offsetting some of their effects


Adoption


Increased Diversity


No income requirements



Wide range of backgrounds



Single adults, gay and lesbian adults, other family
members



50% of US adoptions occur through the foster
care system


Adoption Outcomes
Higher risk for:







Externalizing (aggression and conduct problems)



Internalizing (anxiety and depression)



Attention problems (ADHD)

But majority adjust effectively


Adoption Outcomes


Do better than children raised in long-term foster care



Very early adopted do better than later adopted



Open adoption (sharing identifying information of birth
parents)




Yields positive results in many studies for children
and birth mothers

Closed adoption (non sharing of info)


Parenting Adopted Children


Parents need to recognize the unique differences in
adoptive family life



Communicate about these differences



Show respect for the birth family



Support the child's search for self and identity


Parenting Adopted Children


Infancy: Counselors can help prospective adoptive
parents develop realistic expectations



Early childhood: 4-6 years is a natural time to begin to
talk in simple ways to children about heir adoption status



Middle and late childhood: Recognize that ambivalence is
normal (mixed feelings and questions)



Adolescence: Understand the complexity of the
adolescents identity exploration and be patient with their
lengthy identity search


Behavior Genetics


The field that seeks to discover the influence of heredity
and environment on individual difference in human traits
and development.



Twin Studies- behavioral similarity of identical twins
compared with fraternal twins (identical twins with more
conduct problems)



Adoption studies- the behavior and psychological
characteristics of adopted children are more like those of
their adoptive parents, or more like those of the biological
parents



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