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Nature or Nurture? The Final Answer….

nature or nurture?I remember back in the late 60’s during my first psychology class the professor discussing whether children’s development was dictated by the way they were born (genetics, nature) or what their parents did with them at home especially during childhood (nurture).

6 thoughts on “Nature or Nurture? The Final Answer….

  • May 5, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Great article. Nature or nurture, kids still need to learn to manage the anxiety they have. Parents can help children learn CBT skills to take charge of anxiety in a way thats easy for kids to learn and remember.

  • May 26, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Love your final answer, who knew?

    It is rather strage though that the nurture idea was so strong in the 60’s, because since that time it seems to me that parenting has become rather lets say lax.

    I know too many children who have grown up with no guidance or rules and are now left socially wanting in so many ways.

    I can only guess that the parents of the time were so terrified of messing their kids up that they simply did nothing.

  • June 6, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    Thanks for your comment. You might be right about no guidance out of a belief that kids would do fine on their own. Now, many parents are into helicopter parenting. We’ll see what that will do.

  • September 4, 2011 at 12:06 am

    I love your final answer. I have been saying that for YEARS. I’ve seen some people conclude that because someone became a criminal and committed a heinous crime they must have come from a “bad” background. But that just isn’t always true. I knew someone in middle school and high school that had a generally “happy” home life. It wasn’t perfect (but I’m not sure any home life is) but her mother gave her everything she needed financially, mentally, physically. She had a father figure. Still, she showed symptoms of a serious disorder. (I recall her literally beating her mothers Pomeranian once and when I told on her, it was part of the reason we stopped being “friends”) Yes, her home life did have problems – everyone’s does. But she was not poor, did not have an alcoholic/neglectful/abusive/etc. parent, and was not forced to grow up young like many people would assume. People with mental illness come from all sorts of backgrounds and I think in this age, that is becoming more and more apparent. Nevertheless, I cannot and will not deny that I do believe nurture plays a large role. As a dog fancier, I know that this is definitely true in the dog world. You will have some breed extremists swear that it’s all in “the person who raised them”. But that is just not always true. Aggressive can be nature. As can fear reactivity. There are some dogs who are so socially anxious that they cannot leave their home. Some of them are like this by NO fault whatsoever of their owner. They will often have good, caring, owners who genuinely tried to train them – but always knew something was “off”. This is proof that genetics DO play a role. However, a well bred dog with no such genes can, also, turn out “wrong” if not trained and not socialized. Nature and nurture. Denying that both play a role in the way any animal turns out can have deadly results. For, if we assume it’s just nurture we’ll find ourselves thinking “She cant be depressed! She has always had money and caring parents!” But if we assume it’s only nature, we’ll reject the nurture aspect. Both can have negative results. Great article and great way to finally settle the argument. Let’s hope this becomes a popular opinion.

  • September 7, 2011 at 7:48 am

    Thanks for your thoughts! When parents ask me why their kids turned out the way they did I usually come up with a silly answer such as 32 percent genetics, 14 percent parents, and 98 percent I don’t know. But, now what are we going to do to help them?
    We have a rescue Wheaten terrier that is sweet and loving to the family but when any short man comes over, she barks in fear the minute he stands up. We’re pretty sure that she was abused and 10 years of living in our home hasn’t been able to erase that fear.

  • January 2, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    Great article! Thank you for writing! I think I may have to check out your book…



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