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Human Development

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    Jay Belsky

    Robert M. And Natalie Reid Dorn Endowed Chair Professor
    Interests: Social-Emotional, Family, Biological
    Life Phases: Infancy, Early Childhood, Adolescence, Adulthood
    E-mail: jbelsky@ucdavis.edu
    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., & Pluess, M. (in press). Beyond Risk, Resilience and Dysregulation: Phenotypic Plasticity and Human Development. Development and Psychopathology.

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

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

    Van IJzendoorn, M.H., Belsky, J., & Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. (in press). Serotonin Transporter Genotype 5HTTLPR as a Marker of Differential Susceptibility? A Meta-Analysis of Child and Adolescent Gene-by-Environment Studies. Translational Psychiatry

    Wichstrom, L, Belsky, J. & Berg-Nielsen, T.S. (in press). Preschool predictors of childhood anxiety disorders. A prospective community study. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

    Deighton, J., Patalay, P., Belsky, J., Humphrey, N., Vostanis, P., Fugard, A., Fonagy, P., & Wolpert, M. (in press). Targeted mental health provision in primary schools for children with behavioural difficulties: Results of a national randomized controlled trial. Psychology of Education Review

    Soares, I., Belsky, J., Mesquita, A.R., Osorio, A & Sampaio, A. (in press). Why Do Only Some institutionalized Children Become Indiscriminantly Friendly? Insights from the Study of Williams Syndrome. Child Development Perspectives.

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

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

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

    Solheim, E., Wichstrom, L., Belsky, J., & Berg-Nielsen, T.S. (in press). Does time in childcare and peer-group exposure predict poor socioemotional adjustment in Norway? Child Development.

    Suttcliffe, A.G., Barnes, J., Belsky, J., Gardiner, J., & Melhuish, E. (2012). The Health and Development of Children Born to Older Mothers in the UK: An Observational Study Using Longitudinal Cohort Data. BMJ.

    Roisman, G.I., Booth-LaForce, C., Belsky, J., Burt, K.B., & Groh, A.M. (in press). Molecular Genetic Correlates of Infant Attachment: A Cautionary Tale. Attachment & Human Development.

    Belsky, J. & Pluess, M. (2013). Genetic Moderation of Early Child Care Effects on Social Adjustment  Across Childhood: A Developmental Analysis. Child Development, 84, 1209-1225.

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

    Martins, C., Belsky, J., Marques, S., Baptista, J., Silva, J., Mesqita, A.R., de Castro, F., Sousa, N. & Soares, I. (2013). Diverse Physical Growth Trajectories in Institutionalized Portuguese Children Below Age 3: Relation to Child, Family, and Institutional Factors. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 38, 438-448.

    Hochberg, Z., & Belsky, J. (2013). Evo-devo of human adolescence: Beyond disease models of early puberty. BMC Medicine, 11, 113-124.

    Shiakou, M. and Belsky, J. (2013).Exploring parent attitudes toward children’s play and learning in Cyprus. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 27, 17-30.

    Pluess, M., Stevens, S.E., & Belsky, J. (2013). Differential Susceptibility: Developmental and Evolutionary Mechanisms of Gene-X-Environment Interactions. In M. Legerstee, D. W. Haley & M. H. Bornstein (Eds.), The Infant Mind: Origins of the Social Brain (pp. 77-96).New York: Guilford.

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

    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.