A Journey through Time and Space: Examining the Influence of Contextual Factors on the Ontogeny of Human Life History Strategies

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/315867
Title:
A Journey through Time and Space: Examining the Influence of Contextual Factors on the Ontogeny of Human Life History Strategies
Author:
Cabeza De Baca, Tomás
Issue Date:
2014
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Researchers must consider the role of context when examining the behavior and characteristics of an individual. An individual must alter development, characteristics, and behavior, to adequately meet the challenges presented within their ecology. The following dissertation presents three manuscripts that examine individual differences while considering the role ecological (spatial) and developmental (temporal) context plays on the individual. Each paper utilizes Life History Theory to examine and to integrate the study findings into a cohesive framework. Life history theory is an evolutionary-developmental theory that focuses on how allocation of bioenergetic and material resources to different developmental facets will have long-term implications for behavior, traits, and health. Each paper collectively highlights key contextual factors throughout the lifespan and seeks to understand how life history strategies emerge. Study I examined the role mother's behavior had on the development of the child unpredictability schema (i.e., worldview where children view their environment and others as unreliable). The study included 65 children and their mothers. Results revealed that child unpredictability schema was predicted by mother's mating and parental effort. A quadratic effect was also found, whereby child unpredictability schema became constant at lower levels of parental effort. Study II utilized retrospective reports of childhood parental effort from extended kin family, positive emotional environment, and traditional social values from a sample of 200 Mexican and Costa Rican college students. High levels of childcare assistance from patrilineal and matrilineal kin were associated with more positive family environment, and the association was partially mediated between kin care and slow life history. Positive associations were also found between matrilineal kin childcare and traditional Latin social values. Study III utilized a nationally-representative, all-female sample to test whether higher reproductive effort increases physical/mental deterioration in women. Results reveal that reproductive effort and illness were mediated by both antioxidant defenses and inflammation. The results of the three studies broadly support hypotheses generated from Life History Theory. Contextual factors during key developmental stages have an impact on how an individual will allocate time and bioenergetic resources - thus contributing to specific behavioral life history strategies.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Familism; Latin America; Life History Theory; Mating Effort; Parental Effort; Family & Consumer Sciences; Evolutionary Psychology
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Family & Consumer Sciences
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Figueredo, Aurelio José; Ellis, Bruce J.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.titleA Journey through Time and Space: Examining the Influence of Contextual Factors on the Ontogeny of Human Life History Strategiesen_US
dc.creatorCabeza De Baca, Tomásen_US
dc.contributor.authorCabeza De Baca, Tomásen_US
dc.date.issued2014en
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractResearchers must consider the role of context when examining the behavior and characteristics of an individual. An individual must alter development, characteristics, and behavior, to adequately meet the challenges presented within their ecology. The following dissertation presents three manuscripts that examine individual differences while considering the role ecological (spatial) and developmental (temporal) context plays on the individual. Each paper utilizes Life History Theory to examine and to integrate the study findings into a cohesive framework. Life history theory is an evolutionary-developmental theory that focuses on how allocation of bioenergetic and material resources to different developmental facets will have long-term implications for behavior, traits, and health. Each paper collectively highlights key contextual factors throughout the lifespan and seeks to understand how life history strategies emerge. Study I examined the role mother's behavior had on the development of the child unpredictability schema (i.e., worldview where children view their environment and others as unreliable). The study included 65 children and their mothers. Results revealed that child unpredictability schema was predicted by mother's mating and parental effort. A quadratic effect was also found, whereby child unpredictability schema became constant at lower levels of parental effort. Study II utilized retrospective reports of childhood parental effort from extended kin family, positive emotional environment, and traditional social values from a sample of 200 Mexican and Costa Rican college students. High levels of childcare assistance from patrilineal and matrilineal kin were associated with more positive family environment, and the association was partially mediated between kin care and slow life history. Positive associations were also found between matrilineal kin childcare and traditional Latin social values. Study III utilized a nationally-representative, all-female sample to test whether higher reproductive effort increases physical/mental deterioration in women. Results reveal that reproductive effort and illness were mediated by both antioxidant defenses and inflammation. The results of the three studies broadly support hypotheses generated from Life History Theory. Contextual factors during key developmental stages have an impact on how an individual will allocate time and bioenergetic resources - thus contributing to specific behavioral life history strategies.en_US
dc.typetexten
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen
dc.subjectFamilismen_US
dc.subjectLatin Americaen_US
dc.subjectLife History Theoryen_US
dc.subjectMating Efforten_US
dc.subjectParental Efforten_US
dc.subjectFamily & Consumer Sciencesen_US
dc.subjectEvolutionary Psychologyen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineFamily & Consumer Sciencesen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorFigueredo, Aurelio Joséen_US
dc.contributor.advisorEllis, Bruce J.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberFigueredo, Aurelio Joséen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberEllis, Bruce J.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberBarnett, Melissa A.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberWahl, Richarden_US
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