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Unpredictability a Major Factor in Risky Sexual Behavior
UA family studies professor Bruce J. Ellis has developed a theoretical framework for understanding how elements of change and stress often guide the behavior of young people.
By University Communications October 4, 2010
Researchers at the University of Arizona are trying to understand how childhood experiences, especially stress, affect young peoples' development, in particular their sexual development.
Bruce J. Ellis, a professor of family studies and human development at the UA, is engaged in ongoing research, trying to separate out the effects of noxious, harsh environments, such as those associated with poverty and depressed neighborhoods, from unpredictable events such as moving, changing schools and changing parental arrangements.
The findings may have implications for reducing hazards associated with youth, drug and alcohol abuse and early pregnancy.
Ellis, who studies pubertal timing and sexual behavior, is the John and Doris Norton Endowed Chair in Fathers, Parenting and Families in the Norton School of Family and Consumer Resources at the UA. His work centers around how evolution has shaped the brains of children to detect and encode information from their environment, information that guides their development.
Released date:Oct 7 2010