TABLE 10-1 Humans’ Expectable Environments of Rearing

Social ecology

Child care


Gestation: maternal stress, nutrition, activity


Prolonged carrying (devices may be used for holding, carrying)


Infant/child signaling-caregiver response (contingency, state regulation)




Breastfeeding (and weaning)


Variable caregiver competence


Provisioning into adolescence with transition to productive in(ter)dependence





Coresident dependent siblings


Privileged emotion communication and intersubjective regulation


Resident in family into adolescence

Social group


Multiage, mixed-sex with changeable composition (mobility, mortality)


Presence of kin and nonkin

Pervasive language use, multiple registers (e.g., information exchange, narrative)


Sharing and exchange (socially and spatiotemporally displaced reciprocities)

Contexts for play, practice, and exploration (risk taking)


Multiage, mixed-sex play groups


Tolerance of low productivity, incompetence


Surveillance, safe spaces

Participant observation in adult activities and competent performances


Feedback on imitation, provision of instruction, guided participation

Use of analogs and symbols (visual, acoustic)

Tool use

Fire and thermal buffering (possibly with clothing, coverings)

Sanctions (physical, verbal, social)


Food constituents and gut activity

Energetics (resource reliability and quality, maintenance costs) and metabolic regulation

Exposures to pathogens, parasites, and dirt and immune development

Sensory inputs, activity patterns, and brain development

Perceived safety or security and vigilance (attention and arousal regulation)

human social life and culture is repatterned or rent, fertility outcomes (in terms of effective fertility) are changed.

We can expect a large measure of robustness in biocultural transmission for critical features such as language and for those under previous selection for retention of plasticity. Other areas of human developmental ecology may be more vulnerable, particularly (1) emotion and arousal regulation, particularly in affiliation, anxiety, violence and aggression, and toler-

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