Developmental Psychology

Chapter 2 (66-74)

Prenatal Diagnostic Tests Ultrasound Tests • often conducted 7 weeks into pregnancy •Prenatal medical procedure in which high-frequency sound waves are directed into the pregnant woman’s abdomen •Can detect many structural abnormalities in the fetus (including microencephaly)form of mental retardation involving an abnormally small brain •Gives clues to baby’s sex •Determine the number of fetuses Fetal MRI •Diagnose fetal malformations •Provide more detailed images than ultrasound •Can indicate possible abnormality (MRI) and then use fetal MRI to obtain clearer detailed image •Detect better than ultrasound sonography Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) •10th-12th weeks of pregnancy •Detect genetic defects and chromosomal abnormalities •Small sample of placenta is removed •Takes 10 days of diagnosis •Small risk of limb deformity •Allows abortion decision to be made sooner. near the end of first 12 weeks Amniocentesis •15th-18th weeks of pregnancy •Sample of amniotic fluid is withdrawn by syringe and tested for chromosomal or metabolic disorder •Amniotic fluid found within the amnion •Ultrasound sonography used during amniocentesis so syringe can be placed precisely •The later amniocentesis is performed. the better its diagnostic potential •Takes two weeks for enough cells to grow and get test results •Brings small risk of miscarriage Maternal Blood Screening •16th-18th weeks of pregnancy •Identifies pregnancies that have an elevated risk for birth defects such as spina bifida (defect in spinal cord) and Down syndrome •“Triple Screening”: blood test that measures three substances in mother’s blood Noninvasive Prenatal Diagnosis (NIPD) •Focused on the isolation and examination of fetal cells circulating in the mother’s blood and analysis of cell-free fetal DNA in maternal plasma Biological Beginnings .

US couples adopted a much wider diversity of children from other countries or children with mental or physical disabilities •Now adoptive parents come from more diverse backgrounds as there are no longer an income requirement Outcomes for Adopted Children •Children who are adopted very early in their lives are more likely to have positive outcomes than children adopted later in life •Infant adoptees had fewest adjustment difficulties than those adopted after they were 10 years old •Adopted children and adolescents are more likely to experience psychological and school-related problems than non-adopted children •Adopted children more likely to have learning disabilities •BUT. first half of 20 th century. most of adoptive parents were non-Latino White. caring and supportive of each other •No difference in the self-esteem of adopted and non-adopted children •No difference between transracial and same-race adoptees •Adopted children fare much better than children in llong-term foster care or in an institutional environment Biological Beginnings . Increased Diversity of Adopted Children and Adoptive Parents •Increasingly.Infertility and Reproductive Tech In vitro fertilization (IVF) •Success rate depends on mother’s age •In vitro fertilization twins have a slight increased risk of low birth weight •In vitro fertilization singletons have a significant risk of low birth weight Adoption There is a shift in diversity of adoptive parents. middle/upper socioeconomic status backgrounds. married and does not have disabilities. adopted children are less likely to be withdrawn and engaged in more prosocial behavior such as being altruistic.

Behavior Genetics Behavior Genetics is the field that seeks to discover the influence of heredity and environment on individual differences in human traits and development •Figure out what is responsible for the differences among people •To what extent do people differ because of differences in genes.Passive genotype-environment correlations are more common in the lives of infants and young children than they are for holder children and adolescents Biological Beginnings . environment or combination of both Twin Studies • behavioral similarity of identical twins is compared with the behavioral similarity of fraternal twins •Conduct problems were more prevalent in identical twins than fraternal •Environments of identical twins are more similar than those of fraternal twins Adoption Study •Discover whether the behavior and psychological characteristics of adopted children are more like their those of their adoptive parents or more like their biological parents Behavior Genetics Passive Genotype-Environment Correlations •Biological parents who are genetically related to child provide a rearing environment for child •Musically inclined parents provide musically friendly environment for child Evocative Genotype-Environment Correlations •Child’s characteristics elicit certain types of environments •Happy outgoing child elicits smiles and friendly responses from others Active (niche-picking) Genotype-Environment Correlations •Occur when children seek out environments that they find compatible and stimulating •They seek out things that corresponds to their interest and talents and thus in accord to their genotype .

that are not shared with a sibling Robert Plomin (2004): •Shared environment accounts for little of the variation in children’s personality or interest •Heredity influences the nonshared environments of siblings through the heredity-environment correlations Judith Harris: •Nurture Assumption: what parents do does not make a difference in their children’s and adolescents’ behavior •Genes and peers are fare more important than parents in children’s and adolescents’ development •Does not take into account the complexity of peer contexts and developmental trajectories •Wrong to say that parents don’t matter. the family’s socioeconomic status. and the neighbourhood in which they live Nonshared environmental experiences: child’s unique experiences. parents DO matter Biological Beginnings .Shared and Nonshared Environmental Experiences Shared environmental experiences: siblings’ common experiences such as their parents’ personalities and intellectual orientation. both within the family and outside the family.

it is bidirectional Gene x Environment (G x E) Interaction: • individuals who have short version of genotype (5-HTTLPR) only have an elevated risk of developing depression if they ALSO have stressful lives (gene x environment) •5-HTTLPR is a gene involving the neurotransimitter serotonin •Adults who experienced parental loss as young children were more likely to have unresolved attachment as adults only when they had the short version of the 5-HTTLPR gene •Long version of the serotonin transporter gene provided some protection and ability to cope better with parental loss Pharmacognetics: •Field of study for gene-environment interaction involving the individual’s genotype and drug treatment •Discover if certain drugs are safer or more dangerous to use if the individual’s genotype is unknown Biological Beginnings .Epigentic View (GxE) Interaction Epigenetic View: development is the result of an ongoing. bidirectional interchange between heredity and environment -Not a heredity to environment relationship.

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