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ERIC Number: EJ871401
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
The Development of Reproductive Strategy in Females: Early Maternal Harshness [right arrow] Earlier Menarche [right arrow] Increased Sexual Risk Taking
Belsky, Jay; Steinberg, Laurence; Houts, Renate M.; Halpern-Felsher, Bonnie L.
Developmental Psychology, v46 n1 p120-128 Jan 2010
To test a proposition central to J. Belsky, L. Steinberg, and P. Draper's (1991) evolutionary theory of socialization--that pubertal maturation plays a role in linking early rearing experience with adolescent sexual risk taking (i.e., frequency of sexual behavior) and, perhaps, other risk taking (e.g., alcohol, drugs, delinquency)--the authors subjected longitudinal data on 433 White, 62 Black, and 31 Hispanic females to path analysis. Results showed (a) that greater maternal harshness at 54 months predicted earlier age of menarche; (b) that earlier age of menarche predicted greater sexual (but not other) risk taking; and (c) that maternal harshness exerted a significant indirect effect, via earlier menarche, on sexual risk taking (i.e., greater harshness [right arrow] earlier menarche [right arrow] greater sexual risk taking) but only a direct effect on other risk taking. Results are discussed in terms of evolutionary perspectives on human development and reproductive strategy, and future directions for research are outlined. (Contains 2 tables and 1 figure.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A