Environmental Effects on Cognitive Abilities
Edited by Robert J. Sternberg, Elena L. Grigorenko
Psychology Press – 2001 – 480 pages
It sometimes seems that it is difficult to pick up a current newspaper or a magazine without it containing a story about some behavioral characteristic for which it has been found that a gene is responsible. Even aspects of behavior that one would feel certain are environmentally controlled are now being attributed in part to the effects of the genes. But genes never act alone: Their effects are always filtered through the environment.
The goal of this volume is to discuss how the environment influences the development and the maintenance of cognitive abilities. It is a successor to the editors' 1997 volume, Intelligence, Heredity, and Environment, and a companion to their new volume, Family Environment and Intellectual Functioning: A Life-Span Perspective. Taken together, the two-volume set comprises the most comprehensive existing work on the relation between the environment and cognitive abilities.
Psychologists, parents, social workers, educators, and employers are all likely to find this book of interest.
"This edited volume does, in fact, take psychologists a step forward in understanding non-genetic influences when five of its 14 chapters review evidence on various biological insults that depress cognitive development in childhood: malnutrition, environmental pollutants, prenatal exposure to drugs and alcohol, infectious diseases, and radiation."
Contents: Preface. Part I: General Issues. J. Ogbu, P. Stern, Caste Status and Intellectual Development. B.H. Fiese, Family Matters: A Systems View of Family Effects on Children's Cognitive Health. R. Seifer, Socioeconomic Status, Multiple Risks, and Development of Intelligence. C.T. Ramey, S.L. Ramey, R.G. Lanzi, Intelligence and Experience. Part II: Public and Personal Health Issues. S. Grantham-McGregor, C. Ani, L. Fernald, The Role of Nutrition in Intellectual Development. D.C. Bellinger, H.F. Adams, Environmental Pollutant Exposures and Children's Cognitive Abilities. L.C. Mayes, T. Fahy, Prenatal Drug Exposure and Cognitive Development. K.J. Alcock, D.A.P. Bundy, The Impact of Infectious Disease on Cognitive Development. E.L. Grigorenko, The Invisible Danger: The Impact of Ionizing Radiation on Cognitive Development and Functioning. Part III: Work Environments. K. Christian, H.J. Bachman, F.J. Morrison, Schooling and Cognitive Development. K.W. Schaie, Y-L. Zuo, Family Environments and Adult Cognitive Functioning. C. Schooler, The Intellectual Effects of the Demands of the Work Environment. Part IV: Conclusions. R. Fernández-Ballesteros, M. Juan-Espinosa, F-J. Abad, Sociohistorical Changes and Intelligence Gains. R.J. Sternberg, Epilogue: Is There a Heredity-Environment Paradox?