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What do you think is more important nature or nurture and why? Or is a combination of both that helps young brains develop?

*All posts must be at least 6 full paragraphs in length and include direct citations


There has been a long debate over whether we develop our personalities based on what we learn from those around us or if we are innately born with those traits. From what I have seen and read, I believe that it is a combination of both that fosters brain development. I believe there are certain genetic traits that have an influence on brain development as well as environmental factors.

I think that for the most part, it is nurture that makes the largest impact on young brain development, however there are a few things that I believe genetics can impact. One example is the several studies on how genetics affects sexuality. Geneticists have found small correlations between variants on certain chromosomes with non-heterosexuality (Price). These studies suggest that sexuality may not be developed based solely on environmental factors, but also from genetics.

Another example of how genetics affects brain development can be found in studies on how depression is related to genetics. Depression can have a large impact on an individual’s personality and development. Studies have found that cases of depression are generally 50% genetic, with the rest being caused by psychological and environmental factors (Levinson and Nichols). Based on these facts, there is clearly an extent to which genetics affects brain development.

Moving on to the nurture side of the argument, you can look at the different communities of people around the world and find evidence of environmental factors that impact brain development. Those who grow up in lower income communities tend to have lower IQ scores than those who grow up in wealthier communities (Mcleod). The answer to why this occurs is that those who live in the lower income communities have fewer opportunities and resources to learn and grow than those more privileged individuals from wealthy communities.

On the more scientific side, a neuroscientist named James Fallon found that he had the brain of a psychopath. He concluded that it was due to growing up in a positive and loving environment that he did not completely develop the traits of a psychopath (Nature vs. Nurture Debate). This example supports the position that environmental factors have a stronger impact on brain development than due genetic ones.

In conclusion, I think that both nature and nurture equally influence the development of young brains. I know that I have inherited certain traits from my parents that contribute to my personality and mental health. I also know that if I were to have grown up in a completely different environment, I would likely have a much different personality. We inherit a lot from the genes passed down by our parents, but the environment we grow up in can have an equal impact on how we develop.

Nature vs. Nurture Debate. 28 Sept. 2018, www.goodtherapy.org/blog/psychpedia/nature-versus-nurture (Links to an external site.).

Mcleod, Saul. Nature Nurture in Psychology: Simply Psychology. 2018, www.simplypsychology.org/naturevsnurture.html.

Price, Michael. Giant Study Links DNA Variants to Same-Sex Behavior. 20 Oct. 2018, www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/10/giant-study-links-dna-variants-same-sex-behavior.

Levinson, Douglas F., and Walter E. Nichols. Major Depression and Genetics. med.stanford.edu/depressiongenetics/mddandgenes.html.

Nature v. Nurture

I have read and understood the syllabus. As a child grows, their brain begins to be stimulated by who and what is around them. Nature versus nurture has been an ongoing debating for the development of children for many years. Naturally, a child imitates things around them. Whether it is what they do or what they say, it is difficult to raise a perfect child because they see and process every single thing around them since their brain is always growing. Although nature and nurture are both important in the development of a child, nurture has a greater significance in how a child thinks and behaves into their adulthood.

In nurture, the environment influences a child. For a child to mature, they are influenced by these factors: poverty, dysfunctional family life, and exposure to violence and homelessness (Valdez, Lecture 1C). The development of their brain can be both physically and cognitively. The brains of two 3-year-old boys were compared (Valdez, Lecture 1C). The first brain was developed at an appropriate pace because they were “cherished by their mother”. The second brain was shriveled due to the abuse and neglect that the child endured. Parents and families greatly influence the development of a child beginning the day they are born. “Children observe and HEAR everything” (Valdez 1C).

Through experience, to get a child to comply with any request that you have, you have to say that you’ll give them your phone. It is considered easier to raise a child through technology because they are learning by themselves, but it doesn’t give them a chance to bond with a mother. This is very difficult to argue with as well because although some media may help a child in learning, it may also put them behind because they spend more time looking at the phone than bonding with family. A mother-child bond is critical for a child’s brain to mature properly (Valdez, Lecture 1B). Although it is seen that without this bond, a child is likely to have health problems, become less intelligent, addicted to drugs, etc, (Valdez, Lecture 1C). As they grow into the later stages of development, because their brain has not fully had their “hardware and software” updates, they are behind and could lead them into poor choices.

As children grow and start to attend school, they continue to learn behaviors from their peers since their brain is still developing. Especially during stages four (ages 7 to 14) and stage five (ages 12 to 24), they continue to learn other behaviors while in school as well. During these stages, it is where the child matures and changes in their hormones but also have impulsive behaviors. While in school, they start to begin looking for their social identity amongst their peers. This is important because their identity depends on their environment, ethnicity, and location of others who are just like them (Valdez, Lecture 1C). Depending on the environment that they grew up in and how they are with their family, their group may not be well off and thus, leading some children to join a gang.

In regards to gangs, those who join for the feeling of having a family. The age group joining is between 14 to 24 (Valdez, p.14) A reminder that during these stages, their brain is not fully developed. Legally they are considered an adult but their brain is not mature until the ages of 23-24. When joining, the gang starts to become very important to them, that it becomes their first priority. They begin to put their gang before religion, family, marriage, community, friendships, and the law (Valdez, Lecture 1B). If joining at a younger age, especially during puberty, their impulses are taking over their decision-making skills, thus may leading them into juvenile crimes.

Overall, it is important to understand how the nurturing of a child is important for their development. Especially during the time that they are born, a child will begin to understand the bonds that they have with their families. Having a brain that properly develops over time leads to important skills a child has as they get older. Whether it would be knowing right from wrong or who they surround themselves with. Aside from the behaviors, psychologically, if they are surrounded by warmth and care, they are on their way into properly developing.


Valdez, Al. “Lecture B Week 1”.

Canvas. https://canvas.eee.uci.edu/courses/27210/modules/i…

Valdez, Al. “Lecture C Week 1”.

Canvas. https://canvas.eee.uci.edu/courses/27210/modules/items/784098

Valdez, Al. Gangs Across America. Chapter 2: Gang Violence.


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