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Human and Community Development

Jay Belsky

Jay Belsky


Robert M. And Natalie Reid Dorn Endowed Chair Professor


BA, Vassar College
MS, Child development, Cornell University
PhD., Human Development and Family Studies, Cornell University

At UCD since: 2011
Interests: Social-Emotional, Family, Biological
Life Phases: Infancy, Early Childhood, Adolescence, Adulthood
E-mail: jbelsky@ucdavis.edu
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).
Recent Publications:
Belsky, J., & Beaver, K.M. (in press). Cumulative-Genetic Plasticity, Parenting and Adolescent Self Regulation. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.
Belsky, J. & De Haan, M. (in press). Parenting and Children’s Brain Development: The End of the Beginning. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.
Ellis. B.J., Boyce, W.T., Belsky, J., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M.J., & van Ijzendoorn, M.H. (in press). Differential Susceptibility to the Environment: A Neurodevelopmental Theory. Development & Psychopathology.
Fearon, R.M.P., & Belsky, J. (in press). Infant-Mother Attachment and the Growth of Externalizing Problems Across the Primary-School Years. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.
Pluess, M., Velders, F.P., Belsky, J. van Ijzendoorn, M.H., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M.J., Jaddoe V.W.V., Hofman, A., Arp, P.P, Verhulst, F.C., & Tiemeir, H. (in press). Serotonin Transporter Polymorphism Moderates Effects of Prenatal Maternal Anxiety on Infant Negative Emotionality. Biological Psychiatry.
Del Giudice, M. & Belsky, J. (in press). The Development of Life History Strategies: Toward a Multi-Stage Theory. In D. M. Buss and P.H. Hawley (Eds.), The evolution of personality and individual differences. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Belsky, J., Houts, R.M. & Fearon, R.M.P. (2010). Infant Attachment Security and Timing of Puberty: Testing an Evolutionary Hypothesis. Psychological Science, 21, 1195-1201.
Belsky, J., Steinberg, L., Houts, R.M., Halpern-Felsher, B.L. & The NICHD Early Child Care Research Nework (2010). The Development of Reproductive Strategy in Females: Early Maternal Harshness -> Earlier Menarche -> Increased Sexual Risk Taking. Developmental Psychology, 46, 120-128.
Belsky, J. (2010). Childhood Experience and the Development of Reproductive Strategies. Psicothema, 22, 28-34.
Vandell, D.L., Belsky, J., Burchinal, M., Steinberg, L., Vandergrift, N., & the NICHD Early Child Care Research Network (2010). Do Effects of Early Child Care Extend to Age 15 Years? Child Development, 81, 737-756.
Belsky, J. & Pluess, M. (2009). Beyond Diathesis-Stress: Differential Susceptibility to Environmental Influences. Psychological Bulletin, 135, 885-908.
Belsky, J. (2009). Quality, Quantity and Type of Child Care: Effects on Child Development in the USA. In G. Bentley & R. Mace (Eds.), Substitute parents: Biological and social perspectives on alloparenting across human societies (pp. 304-321). Oxford, UK: Berghahn Books.
Belsky, J., Conger, R., Capaldi, D.M. (2009). The Intergenerational Transmission of Parenting: Introduction to the Special Section. Developmental Psychology, 45, 1201-1204.
Belsky, J., Melhuish, E. & Barnes, J. (2008). Research and policy in developing an early years initiative: The case of Sure Start. International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy, 2, 1-13.
Belsky, J. (2008). War, Trauma and Children’s Development: Observations from a Modern Evolutionary Perspective. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 32, 260-271.