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12 - Conclusions

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 October 2009

Robert Plomin
Affiliation:
Pennsylvania State University
John C. DeFries
Affiliation:
University of Colorado, Boulder
David W. Fulker
Affiliation:
University of Colorado, Boulder
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Summary

In this chapter we step back from the numerous analyses described in previous chapters in order to gain some perspective on what we know and what we need to learn about the origins of individual differences during infancy and early childhood. As presaged in Chapter 1, the ratio of what is known to what is not known is small; however, the ratio is more impressive when we consider how few studies have addressed the issue of the origins of individual differences in infancy and childhood.

Principles

Rather than summarizing the preceding chapters, we have attempted to abstract some principles that outline what is known about nature and nurture in infancy and early childhood. In our book on infancy, several principles were drawn from the infancy results of the Colorado Adoption Project (Plomin & DeFries, 1985a). These principles involve some general points, such as the following. The etiology of individual differences in infancy includes heredity, variations in family environment are related to individual differences in infancy, and the relative extent of genetic and environmental influence varies for different characters. We have no doubt that these general principles hold for early childhood as well as for infancy.

One other general principle should be added to our earlier list: Individual differences among children are substantial and reliable.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 1988

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  • Conclusions
  • Robert Plomin, Pennsylvania State University, John C. DeFries, University of Colorado, Boulder, David W. Fulker, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Book: Nature and Nurture during Infancy and Early Childhood
  • Online publication: 15 October 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511527654.013
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  • Conclusions
  • Robert Plomin, Pennsylvania State University, John C. DeFries, University of Colorado, Boulder, David W. Fulker, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Book: Nature and Nurture during Infancy and Early Childhood
  • Online publication: 15 October 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511527654.013
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Conclusions
  • Robert Plomin, Pennsylvania State University, John C. DeFries, University of Colorado, Boulder, David W. Fulker, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Book: Nature and Nurture during Infancy and Early Childhood
  • Online publication: 15 October 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511527654.013
Available formats
×