Summary and Info
This interdisciplinary book offers a unique exploration of the formative effects of children's early life experiences, with an emphasis on interactions among neurodevelopmental, behavioral, and cultural dynamics. The authors draw on insights from psychobiological, clinical, and cross-cultural comparative research that maps the robustness of these developmental dynamics across species and societies. Multidisciplinary case studies focus on specific periods of development, or windows of susceptibility, during which caregiving and other cultural practices potentially have a long-lasting impact on brain and behavior. Chapters describe in detail: how social experience interacts with neurodevelopmental disorders; how epigenetic mechanisms mediate the effects of early environment; the interaction of temperament and environmental influences; the implications of early life stress or trauma for mental health and well-being; and the cultural shaping of sexual development and gender identity. The authors also explore key aspects of and common experiences associated with modern childhood, including teasing, bullying, the function of social play, emotional regulation, and management of attention disorders. The final section translates insights from this work into a fresh appraisal of child-rearing practices, clinical interventions, and global public health policy that affect the mental health and well-being of children around the world.
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