Necessary But Not Sufficient: The Respective Roles of Single and Multiple Influences of Individual Development

Pages: 439
Item #: 4318890
ISBN: 978-1-55798-611-5
List Price: $29.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $24.95
Copyright: 2000
Format: Hardcover
Note: This book is out of print and no longer available for purchase.

All too often, those who study human development have focused on the simple. The tendency to describe individual variability in terms of a single class of influences is exemplified by the infamous "nature versus nurture" controversy.

In this provocative book, Wachs challenges fellow developmentalists and researchers to reconsider simple approaches, arguing that they are unproductive and poor predictors of outcome. Instead, he proposes a view of development in which variability is thought of as the action of linked influences over time, from domains as diverse as evolution, genetics, neurology, nutrition, and the child's immediate and wider environment.

The book musters an impressive array of evidence from a variety of disciplines to demonstrate that, while influences from a particular domain may be necessary to cause a particular outcome, they are rarely sufficient, in and of themselves. Countering the arguments of those who protest that it is neither realistic nor cost-effective to design research based on multiple influences, Wachs argues that this can and must be done, and suggests ways of doing so.

Table of Contents


  1. Necessary But Not Sufficient: The Problem of Variability in Individual Outcomes
  2. Evolutionary and Ecological Influences
  3. Genetic, Neural, and Hormonal Influences
  4. Biomedical and Nutritional Influences
  5. Phenotypic Influences
  6. Proximal Environmental Influences
  7. Distal Environmental Influences
  8. Linkages Among Multiple Influences
  9. Temporal and Specificity Processes
  10. Integrating Multiple Influences, Midlevel Processes, and Systems
  11. From Principles to Practice


Author Index

Subject Index

About the Author