Skip directly to: Navigation for this section | Main page content

Human Development Graduate Group

  • Photo: Alternate description of photo goes here

    Jay Belsky

    Robert M. And Natalie Reid Dorn Endowed Chair Professor
    Interests: Social-Emotional, Family, Biological
    Life Phases: Infancy, Early Childhood, Adolescence, Adulthood
    Research Profile

  • Research Interests
    Professor Belsky is an internationally recognized expert in the field of child development and family studies. His areas of special expertise include the effects of day care, parent-child relations during the infancy and early childhood years, the transition to parenthood, the etiology of child maltreatment and the evolutionary basis of parent and child functioning. Dr. Belsky's research is marked by a focus upon fathers as well as mothers, marriages as well as parent-child relations, and naturalistic home observations of family interaction patterns. It is both basic and applied in its character. He is a founding and collaborating investigator on the NICHD Study of Child Care and Youth Development (US) and that National Evaluation of Sure Start (UK). He is the author of more than 300 scientific articles and chapters and the author/editor of several books, including most recently The National Evaluation of Sure Start: Does Area-Based Early Intervention Work (The Policy Press, 2007).

    Selected Publications

    Belsky, J., Newman, D.A., Widaman, K.F., Rodkin, P.l, Pluess, M., Fraley, R.C., Berry, D., Helm, J.L., & Roisman, GlI. (in press). Differential susceptibility to the effects of maternal sensitivity? A study of candidate plasticity genes. Development and Psychopathology.

    Belsky, J. & M. Pluess, M. (in press). Differential susceptibility to environmental influences. In D. Cicchetti (Ed.), Developmental Psychopathology, 3rd Ed. NY: Wiley.

    Hartman, S., Widaman, K.F., & Belsky, J. (in press). Genetic moderation of effects of maternal sensitivity on girls age of menarche: Replication of Manuck et al. (2011). Development and Psychopathology.

    Simpson, J. & Belsky, J. (in press). Attachment Theory within a Modern Evolutionary Framework. In J. Cassidy & P. Shaver (Eds.), Handbook of Attachment Theory and Research, 3rd Ed. New York: Guilford.

    Hygen, B.W., Guzey, C., Belsky, J., Berg-Nielsen, T.S., & Wichstrom, L. (in press). COMT Val158Met Moderates the Effect of Disorganized Attachment on Social Development in Young Children. Development and Psychopathology.

    Stenseng, F., Belsky, J., Skalicka, V. & Wichstrom, L.  (in press). Social Exclusion Predicts Impaired Self-Regulation: A 2-Year Longitudinal Panel Study Including the Transition from Preschool to School. Journal of Personality.

    Hartman, S. & Belsky, J. (in press). An Evolutionary Perspective on Developmental Plasticity: Differential Susceptibility to Environmental Influences. In R. Scott & S. Kosslyn (Eds.), Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences, NY: Wiley.

    Jaffee, S.R., McFarquhar, T., Stevens, S., Ouellet-Morin, I., Melhuish, E., & Belsky, J. (in press). Interactive effects of early and recent exposure to stressful context on cortisol reactivity in middle childhood. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

    Oliveira, P.S., Fearon, R.M.P., Belsky, J., Fachada, I.,  & Soares, I. (in press). Quality of institutional care and early child development. International Journal of Behavioral Development.

    Belsky, J. (2014). Toward an evo-devo theory of reproductive strategy, health and longevity. Perspectives in Psychological Science, 9, 16-18.

    Belsky, J. (2014).  Beyond stressful life events and depression?—reflections on Bogdan et al. (2014). Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 55, 458-459.

    Belsky, J. (2014). Psychopathology in Life History Perspective. Psychological Inquiry, 25, 307-310.

    Burchinal, M., Vandell, D.L., & Belsky, J. (2014). Is the Prediction of Outcomes from Early Child Care Moderated by Later Maternal Sensitivity? Developmental Psychology, 50, 542-553.

    Belsky, J., & Hartman, S. (2014). Gene-environment interaction in evolutionary perspective: differential susceptibility to environmental influences. World Psychiatry, 13, 87-89.

    Soares, I., Belsky, J., Oliveira, P.S., Silva, J.R., Baptista, J., & Martins, C. (2014). Does early family risk and current quality of care predict indiscriminate social behavior in institutionalized Portuguese children? Attachment and Human Development, 16, 137-148.

    Drake, K., Belsky, J., & Fearon, R.M.P. (2014). From early attachment to engagement with learning in school: The role of self-regulation and persistence. Developmental Psychology, 50, 1350-1361.

    Belsky J. (2014). Social-contextual determinants of parenting. In R.F. Tremblay, M. Boivin, R.DeV Peters (Eds.). Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development [online], 3rd Ed.. Montreal, Quebec: Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development and Strategic Knowledge Cluster on Early Child Development; 2014:1-7. Available at:

    Belsky, J., & Pluess, M. (2013). Beyond Risk, Resilience and Dysregulation: Phenotypic Plasticity and Human Development. Development and Psychopathology, 25, 1243-1261.

    Pluess, M., & Belsky, J. (2013). Vantage Sensitivity: Individual Differences in Response to Positive Experiences  Psychological Bulletin, 139, 901-916.

    Belsky, J. (2012). The Development of Human Reproductive Strategies: Progress and Prospects. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 21, 310-316.

    Belsky, J., Pluess, M., & Widaman, K.F. (2013). Confirmatory and competitive evaluation of alternative gene-environment interaction hypotheses. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 54, 1135-1143.

    Belsky, J., Schlomer, G.L., & Ellis, B.J. (2012). Beyond Cumulative Risk: Distinguishing Harshness and Unpredictability as Determinants of Parenting and Early Life History. Developmental Psychology, 48, 662-673.