Advertisement

Human Nature

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 137–157 | Cite as

Violence, Teenage Pregnancy, and Life History

Ecological Factors and Their Impact on Strategy-Driven Behavior
  • Lee T. Copping
  • Anne Campbell
  • Steven Muncer
Article

Abstract

Guided by principles of life history strategy development, this study tested the hypothesis that sexual precocity and violence are influenced by sensitivities to local environmental conditions. Two models of strategy development were compared: The first is based on indirect perception of ecological cues through family disruption and the second is based on both direct and indirect perception of ecological stressors. Results showed a moderate correlation between rates of violence and sexual precocity (r = 0.59). Although a model incorporating direct and indirect effects provided a better fit than one based on family mediation alone, significant improvements were made by linking some ecological factors directly to behavior independently of strategy development. The models support the contention that violence and teenage pregnancy are part of an ecologically determined pattern of strategy development and suggest that while the family unit is critical in affecting behavior, individuals’ direct experiences of the environment are also important.

Keywords

Life history Violence Teenage pregnancy Evolution Environmental uncertainty 

References

  1. Barber, N. (2000a). The sex ratio as a predictor of cross-national variation in violent crime. Cross-Cultural Research, 34, 264–282. doi: 10.1177/106939710003400304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barber, N. (2000b). On the relationship between country sex ratios and teen pregnancy rates: a replication. Cross-Cultural Research, 34, 26–37. doi: 10.1177/106939710003400102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barbieri, R. L. (2004). Population density and teen pregnancy. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 104, 741–744. doi: 10.1097/01.AOG.0000139946.11059.be.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Belsky, J. (2007). Childhood experiences and reproductive strategies. In R. Dunbar & L. Barrett (Eds.), Oxford handbook of evolutionary psychology (pp. 237–254). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Belsky, J., Steinberg, L., & Draper, P. (1991). Childhood experience, interpersonal development, and reproductive strategy: an evolutionary theory of socialization. Child Development, 62, 647–670. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.1991.tb01558.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Belsky, J., Schlomer, G. L., & Ellis, B. J. (2012). Beyond cumulative risk: distinguishing harshness and unpredictability as determinants of parenting and early life history strategy. Developmental Psychology, 48, 662–673. doi: 10.1037/a0024454.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bentler, P. M., & Bonett, D. G. (1980). Significance tests and goodness of fit in the analysis of covariance structures. Psychological Bulletin, 88, 588–606. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.88.3.588.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Blau, J. R., & Blau, P. M. (1982). The cost of inequality: metropolitan structure and violent crime. American Sociological Review, 47, 114–129. doi: 10.2307/2095046.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bouchard, T. (2004). Genetic influences on human psychological traits. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 13, 148–151. doi: 10.1111/j.0963-7214.2004.00295.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bowlby, J. (1969). Attachment and loss, vol. 1: Attachment. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  11. Bowlby, J. (1973). Attachment and loss, vol. 2: Separation, anxiety and anger. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  12. Bowlby, J. (1980). Attachment and loss, vol. 3. Loss. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  13. Brewster, K. L. (1994). Neighborhood context and the transition to sexual activity among young black women. Demography, 31, 604–614. doi: 10.2307/2061794.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Bronfenbrenner, U., & Morris, P. A. (1998). The ecology of developmental processes. In R. M. Lerner (Ed.), Handbook of child psychology: Theoretical models of human development, 1 (pp. 993–1028). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  15. Brumbach, B. H., Figueredo, A. J., & Ellis, B. J. (2009). Effects of harsh and unpredictable environments in adolescence on development of life history strategies: a longitudinal test of an evolutionary model. Human Nature, 20, 25–51. doi: 10.1007/s12110-009-9059-3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Burton, L. M. (1990). Teenage childbearing as an alternative life-course strategy in multigenerational black families. Human Nature, 1, 123–143. doi: 10.1007/BF02692149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Byrne, B. M. (2001). Structural equation modeling with AMOS: Basic concepts, applications and programming. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  18. Carrasco, M. V., Holgado, F. P., Rodriguez, M. A., & del Barrio, M. V. (2009). Concurrent and across time relations between mother/father hostility and children’s aggression: a longitudinal study. Journal of Family Violence, 24, 213–220. doi: 10.1007/s10896-009-9222-y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Celio, M., Karnik, N. S., & Steiner, H. (2006). Early maturation as a risk factor for aggression and delinquency in adolescent girls: a review. International Journal of Clinical Practice, 60, 1254–1264. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-1241.2006.00972.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Chisholm, J. S. (1993). Death, hope, and sex: life-history theory and the development of reproductive strategies. Current Anthropology, 34, 1–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Chisholm, J. (1999a). Death, hope, and sex: Steps to an evolutionary ecology of mind and morality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Chisholm, J. (1999b). Attachment and time preference: relations between early stress and sexual behavior in a sample of American university women. Human Nature, 10, 51–83. doi: 10.1007/s12110-999-1001-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Chisholm, J. S., & Burbank, V. K. (2001). Evolution and inequality. International Journal of Epidemiology, 30, 206–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Chisholm, J., Quinlivan, J. A., Peterson, R. W., & Coall, D. A. (2005). Early stress predicts age at menarche and first birth, adult attachment and expected lifespan. Human Nature, 16, 233–265. doi: 10.1007/s12110-005-1009-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Coall, D. A., & Chisholm, J. (2003). Evolutionary perspectives on pregnancy: maternal age at menarche and infant birth weight. Social Science & Medicine, 57, 1771–1781. doi: 10.1016/S0277-9536(03)00022-4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Coulton, C. J., Korbin, J. E., Su, M., & Chow, J. (1995). Community level factors and child maltreatment rates. Child Development, 66, 1262–1276. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.1995.tb00934.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Cunradi, C. B., Caetano, R., Clark, C., & Schafer, J. (2000). Neighborhood poverty as a predictor of intimate partner violence among white, black, and Hispanic couples in the United States: a multilevel analysis. Annals of Epidemiology, 10, 297–308. doi: 10.1016/S1047-2797(00)00052-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Diem, C., & Pizarro, J. M. (2010). Social structure and family homicides. Journal of Family Violence, 25, 521–532. doi: 10.1007/s10896-010-9313-9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Dobrin, A., Lee, D., & Price, J. (2005). Neighborhood structure differences between homicide victims and non-victims. Journal of Criminal Justice, 33, 137–143. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2004.12.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Draper, P., & Harpending, H. (1982). Father absence and reproductive strategy–an evolutionary perspective. Journal of Anthropological Research, 38, 255–273.Google Scholar
  31. DuRant, R. H., Cadenhead, C., Pendergrast, R. A., Slavens, G., & Linder, C. W. (1994). Factors associated with the use of violence among urban black adolescents. American Journal of Public Health, 84, 612–617. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.84.4.612.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Eisenberg, J. F. (1981). The mammalian radiations: An analysis of trends in evolution, adaptation and behavior. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  33. Ellis, B. J. (2004). Timing of pubertal maturation in girls: an integrated life history approach. Psychological Bulletin, 130, 920–958. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.130.6.920.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Ellis, B. J., & Essex, M. J. (2007). Family environments, adrenarche and sexual maturation: a longitudinal test of a life history model. Child Development, 78, 1799–1817. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2007.01092.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Ellis, B. J., Bates, J. E., Dodge, K. A., Fergusson, D. M., Horwood, L. J., Pettit, G. S., & Woodward, L. (2003). Does father absence place daughters at special risk for early sexual activity and teenage pregnancy? Child Development, 74, 801–821. doi: 10.1111/1467-8624.00569.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Ellis, B. J., Figueredo, A. J., Brumbach, B. H., & Schlomer, G. L. (2009). Fundamental dimensions of environmental risk. The impact of harsh versus unpredictable environments on the evolution and development of life history strategies. Human Nature, 20, 204–268. doi: 10.1007/s12110-009-9063-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Elster, A. B., Lamb, M. E., Peters, L., Kahn, J., & Tavare, J. (1987). Judicial involvement and conduct problems of fathers of infants born to adolescent mothers. Pediatrics, 79, 230–234.Google Scholar
  38. Gage, A. J. (1998). Sexual activity and contraceptive use: the components of the decision-making process. Studies in Family Planning, 29, 154–166. doi: 10.2307/172156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Gawryszewski, V. P., & Costa, L. S. (2005). Social inequality and homicide rates in São Paolo City, Brazil. Revista de Saúde Pública, 39, 1–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Geromimus, A. T. (1996). What teen mothers know. Human Nature, 7, 323–352. doi: 10.1007/BF02732898.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Geronimus, A. T. (1992). Teenage childbearing and social disadvantage: unprotected discourse. Family Relations, 41, 244–248. doi: 10.2307/584840.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Gibson, C. L., & Tibbetts, S. G. (2000). A biosocial interaction in predicting early onset offending. Psychological Reports, 86, 509–518. doi: 10.2466/PR0.86.2.509-518.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Guttentag, M., & Secord, P. F. (1983). Too many women: The sex ratio question. Beverly Hills: Sage.Google Scholar
  44. Haldre, K., Rahu, K., Rahu, M., & Karro, H. (2009). Individual and familial factors associated with teenage pregnancy: an interview study. European Journal of Public Health, 19, 266–270. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckn143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Hallett, T. B., Lewis, J. J. C., Lopman, B. A., Nyamukapa, C. A., Mushati, P., Wambe, M., Garnett, G. P., & Gregson, S. (2007). Age at first sex and HIV infection in rural Zimbabwe. Studies in Family Planning, 38, 1–10. doi: 10.1111/j.1728-4465.2007.00111.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Heavey, E. J., Moysich, K. B., Hyland, A., Druschel, C. M., & Sill, M. W. (2008). Differences in pregnancy desire among pregnant female adolescents at a state-funded family planning clinic. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, 53, 130–137. doi: 10.1016/j.jmwh.2007.09.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Hofferth, S. L., Reid, L., & Mott, F. L. (2001). The effects of early childbearing on schooling over time. Family Planning Perspectives, 33, 259–267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Huff-Corzine, L., Corzine, J., & Moore, D. C. (1991). Deadly connections: culture, poverty and the direction of lethal violence. Social Forces, 69, 715–732. doi: 10.2307/2579472.Google Scholar
  49. Johns, S.E. (2011). Perceived environmental risk as a predictor of teenage motherhood in a British population. Health & Place, 122–131. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2010.09.006
  50. Kaplan, H. S., & Gangestad, S. W. (2005). Life history theory and evolutionary psychology. In D. M. Buss (Ed.), Handbook of evolutionary psychology (pp. 68–95). Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
  51. Kline, R. B. (2005). Principles and practice of structural equation modelling (2nd ed.). New York: Guildford Press.Google Scholar
  52. Kozinszky, Z., & Bártai, G. (2004). Contraceptive behaviour of teenagers requesting abortion. European Journal of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Reproductive Biology, 15, 80–83. doi: 10.1016/S0301-2115(03)00277-X.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Laflin, M. T., Wang, J., & Barry, M. (2008). A longitudinal study of adolescent transition from virgin to nonvirgin status. Journal of Adolescent Health, 42, 228–236. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2007.08.014.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Lalumière, M. L., & Quinsey, V. L. (1996). Sexual deviance, antisociality, mating effort, and the use of sexually coercive behaviours. Personality and Individual Differences, 21, 33–48. doi: 10.1016/0191-8869(96)00059-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Lanctot, N., & Smith, C. A. (2001). Sexual activity, pregnancy, and deviance in a representative urban sample of African American girls. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 30, 349–372. doi: 10.1023/A:1010496229445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Land, H. C., McCall, P. L., & Cohen, L. E. (1990). Structural covariates of homicide rates: are there any invariances across time and social space? The American Journal of Sociology, 95, 922–963. doi: 10.1086/229381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Lewin, A. C. (2005). The effect of economic stability on family stability among welfare recipients. Evaluation Review, 29, 223–240. doi: 10.1177/0193841X04272558.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Lichter, D. T., Qian, Z., & Mellott, L. M. (2006). Marriage or dissolution? union transitions among poor cohabiting women. Demography, 43, 223–240. doi: 10.1353/dem.2006.0016.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Limbos, M. A., & Casteel, C. (2008). Schools and neighborhoods: organizational and environmental factors associated with crime in secondary schools. Journal of School Health, 78, 539–544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Loehlin, J. C. (2004). Latent variable models: An introduction to factor, path and structural equation analysis. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  61. Messner, S. F., & Sampson, R. J. (1991). The sex ratio, family disruption, and rates of violent crime: the paradox of demographic structure. Social Forces, 69, 693–713. doi: 10.2307/2579470.Google Scholar
  62. Mishra, S., & Lalumière, M. L. (2008). Risk taking, antisocial behavior and life histories. In J. D. Duntly & T. K. Shackelford (Eds.), Evolutionary forensic psychology: Darwinian foundations of crime and law (pp. 139–159). New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Moffitt, T. E. (1993). Adolescence-limited and life-course-persistent antisocial behavior: a developmental taxonomy. Psychological Review, 4, 674–701. doi: 10.1037//0033-295X.100.4.674.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Moffitt, T. E., Caspi, A., Belsky, J., & Silva, P. A. (1992). Childhood experience and onset of menarche: a test of a sociobiological model. Child Development, 63, 47–58. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.1992.tb03594.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Nettle, D. (2010). Dying young and living fast: variation in life history across English neighborhoods. Behavioral Ecology, 387–395. doi: 10.1093/beheco/arp202.
  66. Nettle, D., Coall, D., & Dickins, T. E. (2010). Birthweight and paternal involvement predict early reproduction in British women: evidence from the National Child Development Study. American Journal of Human Biology, 22, 172–179. doi: 10.1002/ajhb.20970.Google Scholar
  67. Nettle, D., Coyne, R., & Colléony, A. (2012). No country for old men: street use and social diet in urban Newcastle. Human Nature, 23, 375–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Oberle, E., Schonert-Reichl, K. A., & Zumbo, B. D. (2011). Life satisfaction in early adolescence: personal, neighborhood, school, family and peer influences. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 40, 889–901. doi: 10.1007/s10964-010-9599-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Paukku, M., Quan, J., Darney, P., & Raine, T. (2003). Adolescents’ contraceptive use and pregnancy history: is there a pattern? Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 3, 534–538. doi: 10.1016/S0029-7844(02)02717-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Pickett, K. E., Mookherjee, J., & Wilkinson, R. G. (2005). Adolescent birth rates, total homicides and income equality in rich countries. American Journal of Public Health, 95, 1181–1183. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2004.056721.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Quinlivan, J. A., Tan, L. H., Steele, A., & Black, K. (2004). Impact of demographic factors, early family relationships and depressive symptomatology in teenage pregnancy. The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 38, 197–203. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1614.2004.01336.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Ross, L. T., & Hill, E. M. (2002). Childhood unpredictability, schemas for unpredictability and risk taking. Social Behavior and Personality, 30, 453–474. doi: 10.2224/sbp.2002.30.5.453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Rowe, D. C. (2002). On genetic variation in menarche and age at first sexual intercourse. Evolution and Human Behavior, 23, 365–372. doi: 10.1016/S1090-5138(02)00102-2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Rowe, D. C., Vazsonyi, A. T., & Figueredo, A. J. (1997). Mating-effort in adolescence: conditional or alternative strategy? Personality and Individual Differences, 23, 105–115. doi: 10.1016/S0191-8869(97)00005-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Santelli, J. S., Morrow, B., Anderson, J. E., & Duberstein Lindberg, L. (2006). Contraceptive use and pregnancy risk among U.S. high school students, 1991–2003. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 38, 106–111. doi: 10.1111/j.1931-2393.2006.tb00067.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Schaffer, W. (1983). The application of optimal control theory to the general life history problem. American Naturalist, 121, 418–431. doi: 10.1086/284070.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Schaller, M., & Murray, D. R. (2008). Pathogens, personality and culture: disease prevalanece predicts worldwide variability in sociosexuality, extraversion and openness to experience. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 212–221. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.95.1.212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Schwartz, J. E., Friedman, H. S., Tucker, J. S., Tomilinson-Keasey, C., Wingard, D. L., & Criqui, M. H. (1995). Sociodemographic and psychosocial factors in childhood as predictors of adult mortality. American Journal of Public Health, 85, 1237–1245. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.85.9.1237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Simpson, J. A., Griskevicius, V., I-Chun Kuo, S., Sung, S., & Collins, A. (2012). Evolution, stress and sensitive periods: the influence of unpredictability in early versus late childhood on sex and risky behavior. Developmental Psychology, 48, 674–686.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. South, S. J., & Messner, S. F. (1987). The sex ratio and women’s involvement in crime: a cross-national analysis. The Sociological Quarterly, 28, 171–188. doi: 10.1111/j.1533-8525.1987.tb00289.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Steffensmeier, D. J., Allan, E. A., Harer, M. D., & Streifel, C. (1989). Age and the distribution of crime. The American Journal of Sociology, 94, 803–831. doi: 10.1086/229069.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Steiger, J. H. (1989). EzPATH: Causal modeling. Evanston: SYSTAT Inc.Google Scholar
  83. Su, X., Simons, R. L., & Simons, L. G. (2011). Interparental aggression and antisocial behavior among African American youth: a simultaneous test of competing explanations. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 40, 1489–1502. doi: 10.1007/s10964-011-9673-3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Tan, L. H., & Quinlivan, J. A. (2006). Domestic violence, single parenthood, and fathers in the setting of teenage pregnancy. Journal of Adolescent Health, 38, 201–207. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2004.10.014.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Theokas, C., & Lerner, R. M. (2006). Observed ecological assets in families, schools and neighborhoods: conceptualization, measurement and relations with positive and negative developmental outcomes. Applied Developmental Science, 10, 61–74. doi: 10.1207/s1532480xads1002_2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Thornhill, R., & Fincher, C. L. (2011). Parasite stress promotes homicide and child maltreatment. Philosophic Transactions of the Royal Society B, 366, 3466–3477. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2011.0052.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Upchurch, D. M., Aneshensal, C. S., Sucoff, C. A., & Levy-Storms, L. (1999). Neighborhood and family contexts of adolescent sexual activity. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 61, 920–933. doi: 10.2307/354013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Weaver, T. L., Sanders, C. K., Campbell, C. L., & Schnable, M. (2009). Development and preliminary psychometric evaluation of the domestic violence-related financial issues scale (DV-FI). Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 24, 569–585. doi: 10.1177/0886260508317176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Wei, E. H., Loeber, R., & Stouthhamer-Loeber, M. (2002). How many of the offspring born to teenage fathers are produced by repeated serious delinquents? Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health, 12, 83–98. doi: 10.1002/cbm.488.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Wilkinson, R. G., & Pickett, K. E. (2009). The spirit level: Why equality is better for everyone. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  91. Wilson, M., & Daly, M. (1985). Competitiveness, risk taking and violence: the young male syndrome. Ethology and Sociobiology, 6, 59–73. doi: 10.1016/0162-3095(85)90041-X.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Wilson, M., & Daly, M. (1997). Life expectancy, economic inequality, homicide and reproductive timing in Chicago neighbourhoods. British Medical Journal, 314, 1271–1274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Woodward, L. J., & Fergusson, D. M. (1999). Early conduct problems and later risk of teenage pregnancy in girls. Development and Psychopathology, 11, 127–141. doi: 10.1017/S0954579499001984.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Xie, H., Cairns, B. D., & Cairns, R. B. (2001). Predicting teen motherhood and teen fatherhood: individual characteristics and peer affiliations. Social Development, 10, 488–511. doi: 10.1111/1467-9507.00177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Youngblade, L. M., & Curry, L. A. (2006). The people they know: links between interpersonal contexts and adolescent risky and health-promoting behavior. Applied Developmental Science, 10, 96–106. doi: 10.1207/s1532480xads1002_5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyDurham UniversityThornaby, Stockton-on-TeesUK
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyDurham University Science SiteDurhamUK
  3. 3.Clinical Psychology Program, School of Health and Social CareTeesside UniversityMiddlesbroughUK

Personalised recommendations