Studies conducted by Repetti (1989) show that mothers respond to highly stressful workdays by providing more nurturing behaviors towards their children. They reasoned that the adaptive value of fighting or fleeing may be lower for females, who often have dependent young and so risk more in terms of reproductive success if injured or dislocated. Carter, C.S., Lederhendler, I.I., & Kirkpatrick, B., eds. [1] In the presence of threats, protecting and calming offspring while blending into the environment may have increased chances of survival for mother and child. Interpersonal stress is the most common and distressing type of stress for women. [11] When mothers give birth, they often have multiple dependent children in their care, who rely on adults for food and shelter for eighteen or more years. Drawing on previous animal and human research, UCLA psychology professor Shelley Taylor and colleagues first coined the “tend-and-befriend” concept in a … When asked why he might have lost control, Alexander's friend Michael Smith could offer little explanation, saying, "He was a good man, but pressure, pressure--everybody blows up under pressure.". Taylor et al. Shelley Elizabeth Taylor (born 1946) is a distinguished professor of psychology at the Susan Fiske and Shelley Taylor. In humans, oxytocin promotes mother-infant attachments, romantic pair bonds, and friendships. Those are ages in which females are at peak reproductive potential and experience the most mating competition. [23] When experimentally primed with a mating motive or status competition motive, men were more willing to become directly aggressive towards another man, whereas women were more likely to indirectly aggress against another woman in an aggression-provoking situation. Supposedly, our caveman brains are stimulated by ‘fight or flight’ tendencies in … [1] Oxytocin administration to rats and prairie voles increased social contact and social grooming behaviors, reduced stress, and lowered aggression. A quick look into the fascinating research of Shelly Taylor, Ph.D of UCLA who has shown us that women and men have very different ways of dealing with stress. The tend-and-befriend theoretical model was originally developed by Dr. Shelley E. Taylor and her research team at the University of California, Los Angeles and first described in a Psychological Review article published in the year 2000. [20] In contrast, women's responses to stress, which include turning to social sources for support, may be protective to health. In 2000, Taylor and colleagues developed the tend and befriend model of responses to stress. And females of many species form tight, stable alliances, possibly reflecting an adaptive tendency to seek out friends for support in times of stress. Among all primates and most mammals, endocrinological and neural processes lead females to nurture infants, including unrelated infants, after being exposed long enough to infant signals. Tend-and-befriend is a critical, adaptive strategy that would have enhanced reproductive success among female cooperative breeders. So while this work doesn't fully explain gender differences in reactions to stress, it does pave the way for exciting new avenues of interdisciplinary research on how stress affects our lives. (1999). Women create, maintain, and use social networks—especially friendships with other women—to manage stressful conditions. For example, when competing for a work promotion, people were more likely to spread negative work-related information about a competitor to coworkers. 219. Friends increase women's perceived capabilities for inflicting reputational harm on a rival as well as perceptions of defensive capabilities against indirect aggression. [26] Gossip is one such tactic, functioning to spread information that would damage the reputation of a competitor. Females who retained the fight-or-flight response would have decreased chances of surviving and hence decreased likelihood of their offspring survival and reproduction. A world-renowned expert on stress and health, Taylor is the author of more than 200 scientific papers. Such a reproductive strategy would not have been able to evolve if women did not have help from others. In this model, ''tend'' refers to: A) becoming physiologically aroused. Through her work at the University of California, Los Angeles, Taylor proposed a new model for female reactions to stress – the “tend and befriend” model. According to Taylor, who published her "tend and befriend" theory in the July 2000 issue of Psychological Review (Vol. In addition to fight-or-flight, humans demonstrate tending and befriending responses to stress—responses underpinned by the hormone oxytocin, by opioids, and by dopaminergic pathways. Instead, tend and Befriend evolves from an evolutionary perspective and asserts that "people, especially women, evolved social means for dealing … [21] Although the befriending stress response may be especially activated for women under conditions of resource scarcity,[1] resource scarcity also entails more intense competition for these resources. Taylor’s research suggests that oxytocin and endogenous opioid peptides are implicated in affiliative responses to stress, especially in women. [1], According to the Polyvagal theory developed by Dr. Stephen Porges, the "Social Nervous System" is an affiliative neurocircuitry that prompts affiliation, particularly in response to stress. UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) is the largest UC campus in terms of enrollment, and one of the few public research universities located in a major city. Shelley E. Taylor is a professor of psychology at UCLA. Tend and Befriend In threatening times, people seek positive social relationships, because such contacts provide protection to maintain one’s own safety and that of one’s offspring. Shelley Elizabeth Taylor (born 1946) is a distinguished professor of psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles.She received her Ph.D. from Yale University, and was formerly on the faculty at Harvard University. These social responses to threat reduce biological stress responses, including lowering heart rate, blood pressure, and hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis (HPA) stress activity, such as cortisol responses. Shelley E. Taylor is a distinguished professor of psychology at UCLA and one of the country’s leading scientists. However, when women were given a choice to either wait alone or to affiliate with an unfamiliar man before a stressful laboratory challenge, they chose to wait alone. B) seeking social support. She presented this theory and the accompanying evidence at a November 13, 2003 lecture at the … In environments with a female-biased sex ratio, where males are a more limited resource, female-to-female competition for mates is intensified, sometimes even resorting to violence. Under conditions of threat, they tend to offspring to ensure their survival and affiliate with others for joint protection and comfort. This tend-and-befriend account of social responses to stress is the theoretical basis for Taylor’s work on social support. It refers to protection of offspring (tending) and seeking out their social group for mutual defense (befriending). [1] During threatening situations, group members can be a source of support and protection for women and their children. Therapy on a Mission. However, the benefits of affiliation would have outweighed the costs in order for tend-and-befriend to have evolved. (2000) propose the tend-and-befriend female stress response as an evolutionary solution to this problem that would have been selected for in natural selection. Socioemotional Resources/Positive Illusions Socioemotional resources, including optimism, mastery, self-esteem, and social support, have biological and psychological benefits, especially in times of stress. [22] Although male crime rates far exceed those of females, arrests for assault among females follow a similar age distribution as in males, peaking for females in the late teens to mid-twenties[citation needed]. As mentioned above, befriending can serve to protect women from threats, including harm from other people. shelley taylor Tend and Befriend. [7] In contrast, fathers who experienced stressful workdays were more likely to withdraw from their families or were more interpersonally conflictual that evening at home. Under conditions of threat, they tend to offspring to ensure their survival and affiliate with others for joint protection and comfort. Tend-and-befriend is a behavior exhibited by some animals, including humans, in response to threat. Taylor, a professor at UCLA who, along with her colleagues, developed the “tend and befriend” theory of stress response, challenges the … Tend and Befriend: Biobehavioral Bases of Affiliation Under Stress - Shelley E. Taylor, 2006. D) taking cover and protecting offspring. A new theory aims to make sense of it all. Are Meaningful Daily Activities Linked to Well-Being. [19] In the United States, for example, this difference is almost 6 years. Consistent with this result, rates of violence and crime are higher among males and females under conditions of resource scarcity. For QAnon Believers Facing Reality, What Happens Now? Women have higher life expectancies from birth in most countries where there is equal access to medical care. Furthermore, support from another female provides enhanced stress-reducing benefits to women. Research shows that women are more likely to seek the company of others in times of stress, compared to men. Under conditions of threat, they tend to offspring to ensure their survival and affiliate with others for joint protection and comfort. Group living provides numerous benefits, including protection from predators and cooperation to achieve shared goals and access to resources. (2005). Informational warfare is the strategic competitive tactics taking the form of indirect, verbal aggression directed towards rivals. [11] Non-mother female wolves and wild dogs sometimes begin lactating to nurse the alpha female's pups. A biological basis for this regulation appears to be oxytocin. It quickly became clear that, compared to males, females' physical aggression and fear-related behaviors are less intense and more "cerebral"--they are displayed in response to specific circumstances and are less tied to physiological arousal. The tend-and-befriend theoretical model was originally developed by Dr. Shelley E. Taylor and her research team at the University of California, Los Angeles and first described in a In the 1930s, physiologist Walter Cannon proposed that stress triggers two primordial reactions--lashing out or running away. The Tend-and-Befriend Model. But fight or flight is only part of a bigger picture, according to Shelley Taylor, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and her colleagues. [15] However, a review of female aggression noted that "The fact that OT [oxytocin] enhances, rather than diminishes, attention to potential threat in the environment casts doubt on the popular ‘tend-and-befriend’ hypothesis which is based on the presumed anxiolytic effect of OT". There are several theories regarding gossip, including social bonding and group cohesion. The researchers suspect that endorphins--proteins that help alleviate pain--and oxytocin--a female reproductive hormone--may play an important role in establishing this pattern, while factors like learning and socialization help to maintain it. The biobehavioral mechanism that underlies the tend-and-befriend pattern appears to draw on the attachment-caregiving system, and neuroendocrine evidence from animal and human studies … [12] Women and adolescent girls report more sources of social support and are more likely to turn to same-sex peers for support than men or boys are. Studies by Hess and Hagen (2009) show that the presence of a competitor's friend reduced people's tendencies to gossip about the competitor. [1] Female-female social networks can provide assistance for childcare, exchange of resources, and protection from predators, other threats, and other group members. In evolutionary psychology, tend-and-befriend is theorized as having evolved as the typical female response to stress. Fueled by the observation that stress studies conducted in the past rarely involved females, Taylor's team wondered if women and men might respond to stress differently. Paralleling this behavioral sex difference, estrogen enhances the effects of oxytocin, whereas androgens inhibit oxytocin release. Dreams have been described as dress rehearsals for real life, opportunities to gratify wishes, and a form of nocturnal therapy. But when researcher Shelley Taylor, ... PhD, suspect that the tend and befriend behavior in women, particularly as it pertains to social connections, may explain why women outlive men. Humans are born helpless and altricial, mature slowly, and depend on parental investment well into their young adult lives, and often even later. It refers to protection of offspring (tending) and seeking out their social group for mutual defense (befriending). same workplace) than when the friend was from a nonrelevant social environment. A world-renowned expert on stress and health, her work on the “tend and befriend” theory is considered to be one of the biggest breakthroughs in understanding stress since the 1930s. The Tend And Befriend Response “The dominant metaphor, ‘fight or flight,’ represents the threatening social landscape as a solitary kill-or-be-killed world.” — Shelley Taylor, PhD, 2002. Tend and Befriend The tend and befriend instinct contrasts with the fight or flight instinct, and was originally outlined by psychologist Shelley Taylor. The presence of friends and allies can help deter malicious gossip, due to an alliance's greater ability to retaliate, compared to a single individual's ability. The “tend and befriend” theory builds on the observation that human beings affiliate in response to stress. Social contact or support during stressful times leads to lowered sympathetic and neuroendocrine stress responses. So while stress can spark a rampage, a kinder, gentler response to adversity is also in our nature. [3], Oxytocin has been tied to a broad array of social relationships and activities, including peer bonding, sexual activity, and affiliative preferences. [1][14], Human and animal studies (reviewed in Taylor et al., 2000) suggest that oxytocin is the neuroendocrine mechanism underlying the female "befriend" stress response. In addition to fight-or-flight, humans demonstrate tending and befriending responses to stress—responses underpinned by the hormone oxytocin, by opioids, and … [26] This effect was stronger when the friend was from the same competitive social environment (e.g. In the Psychological Review, the researchers describe how stress can elicit another behavioral pattern they call "tend and befriend"--especially in females. Smuts (1992) and Taylor et al. In many mammals, and cross-culturally in humans, females form especially close, stable attachments with other females, often kin. (Eds.) The tend and befriend theory proposed by Shelley Taylor, speaks best to the coping technique used by: Women This stressor would be classified as a bioecological influence. 219.The In Focus box on gender differences in responding to stress presents Shelley Taylor's proposal that women ''tend-and-befriend'' in response to stress. Early studies on the human stress response were done by men, on male participants, to explore arguably male scenarios from a male perspective. [10] These cognitive, prosocial processes brought on by cooperative breeding may have led to the emergence of culture and language. However, consistent with informational warfare theory, the content of gossip is relevant to the context in which competition is occurring. Tend and Befriend • a theory presented by Shelley Taylor that states that women who experience stress do not necessarily run or fight, but rather turn to friends … [11] Allomothers are usually a child's aunts, uncles, fathers, grandmothers, siblings, and other women in the community. Title: Biobehavioral Responses to Stress in Females: Tend-and-Befriend, not Fight-or-Flight Author: Taylor, Klein, Lewis, Gruenewald, Gurung, and Updegraff Tending involves nurturant activities designed to protect the self and offspring that promote safety and reduce distress; befriending is the creation and maintenance of social networks that may aid in this process. The costs of physical injury to a parent would also entail costs to his or her family. [6], Female stress responses that increased offspring survival would have led to higher fitness and thus were more likely to be passed on through natural selection. With these intriguing possibilities in mind, Taylor and her coworkers plumbed dozens of studies conducted in the last 30 years of species ranging from rats to monkeys to people in diverse cultures. Cooperative breeders are group-living animals where infant and juvenile care from non-mother helpers are essential to offspring survival. The survival of young children depended more on maternal than paternal care, which underscores the importance of maternal safety, survival, and risk aversion. My 80-year-old mom took on the challenging journey with meticulous dedication, instead of her habitual resistance. The "tend and befriend" theory builds on the observation that human beings affiliate in response to stress. [16], According to Taylor (2000), affiliative behaviors and tending activities reduce biological stress responses in both parents and offspring, thereby reducing stress-related health threats. Indeed, in The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier & Better Off Financially (Doubleday, 2000), Linda J. status, social positions, rights and responsibilities). One theoretical paper that made a big splash was a 2000 paper in Psychological Review, describing what Taylor calls the “tend-and-befriend” model . [25] Therefore, women respond to threats by tending and befriending, and female aggression is often indirect and covert in nature to avoid retaliation and physical injury. Among foraging societies without modern birth control methods, women have high parity, tending to give birth about every four years during their reproductive lifespan. Evolutionary thinking about gender differences may seem to imply that behavior is a simple matter of genes, or it may even justify stereotyping of the two sexes, but according to Taylor and her colleagues, life is much more interesting than that; our biological heritage is not destiny but rather a force that "influences and interacts with social, cultural, cognitive and emotional factors." Women befriend others not only for protection, but also to form alliances to compete with outgroup members for resources, such as food, mates, and social and cultural resources (e.g. Even in modern Western societies, parents often rely on family members, friends, and babysitters to help care for children. Wake, Ph.D., a sociology professor at the University of Chicago, and co-author Maggie Gallagher, assert that one major benefit of marriage is having someone to talk to during periods of stress. Tend-and-befriend is a behavior exhibited by some animals, including humans, in response to threat. Although females in general are less physically aggressive, they tend to engage in as much or even more indirect aggression (e.g. “The dominant metaphor, ‘fight or flight,’ represents the threatening social landscape as a solitary kill-or-be-killed world,” notes psychologist Shelley Taylor, PhD, in her book The Tending Instinct: Women, Men and the Biology of Our Relationships (Henry Holt and Company, 2002). D) taking cover and protecting offspring. And this tendency for females to affiliate with other familiar people increases during times of stress. While it's difficult to know what was advantageous millions of years ago, the contemporary benefits seem fairly clear: It has long been known that social support buffers stress for both women and men. When faced with stress, females often respond by tending to offspring, which in turn reduces stress levels. In addition, people are more likely to spread negative information about potential rivals but more likely to pass on positive information about family members and friends. Both oxytocin and endorphins may also contribute to the second piece of the puzzle--females' tendency to "befriend." 107, No. Affiliation may also take the form of befriending, namely seeking social contact for one's own protection, the protection of offspring, and the protection of the social group. Women form friendships and alliances in part to compete for limited resources, and also in part to protect themselves from relational and reputational harm. [4] Thus, affiliation under stress serves tending needs, including protective responses towards offspring. [13] Women tend to affiliate with other women under stressful situations. [10] Cooperative breeders include wolves, elephants, many nonhuman primates, and humans. [5], Women are more likely to respond to stress through tending and befriending than men. Group living and affiliation with multiple unrelated others of the same sex (who do not share genetic interests) also presents the problem of competing for access to limited resources, such as social status, food, and mates. This page was last edited on 30 August 2020, at 15:58. (2000) argue that female social groups also provide protection from male aggression. By Nancy K. Dess published September 1, 2000 - last reviewed on June 9, 2016, On June 21, 2000, in San Leandro, California, a frighteningly familiar scene unfolded: Stuart Alexander, a sausage factory owner, suddenly opened fire on four government meat inspectors, killing three. Tend-and-Befriend, Not Fight-or-Flight Shelley E. Taylor, Laura Cousino Klein, Brian P. Lewis, Tara L. Gruenewald, Regan A. R. Gurung, and John A. Updegraff University of California, Los Angeles The human stress response has been characterized, both physiologically and behaviorally, as "fight-or-flight." Therefore, they have less to gain from fighting and the risk of injury or death would produce greater fitness cost for females. [3] Oxytocin is released in humans in response to a broad array of stressors, especially those that may trigger affiliative needs. This theory is based in evolutionary psychology, a field which has generated significant criticism for its promotion of gender determinism.[27][28]. Research by psychologist Tiffany Field, anthropologist Jay Kaplan and others shows that tending young and affiliating with friends dramatically reduces stress in humans and other animals, resulting in improved immune function, mood and a host of other rewards. The human stress response has been characterized, both physiologically and behaviorally, as "fight-or-flight." Tend and befriend model. But Taylor's research supports a new and compelling case that stress elicits prosocial behavior, especially in females, and that this dynamic is deeply rooted in the evolution of social mammals. Since then, the "fight or flight" concept has dominated scientific thinking about responses to stress, illuminating the emotional, cognitive, behavioral and biological processes that mediate and modify this basic pattern. Lower variance in reproductive success and higher costs of physical aggression may explain the lower rates of physical aggression among human females compared to males. In this model, ''tend'' refers to: A) becoming physiologically aroused. Skip to main content. Oxytocin promotes affiliative behavior, including maternal tending and social contact with peers. B) seeking social support. Social isolation is associated with significantly enhanced risk of mortality, whereas social support is tied to positive health outcomes, including reduced risk of illness and death.[18]. (2007). In evolutionary psychology, tend-and-befriend is theorized as having evolved as the typical female response to stress. [17] "Befriending" may lead to substantial mental and physical health benefits in times of stress. Furthermore, physical contact between mothers and their offspring following a threatening event decreased HPA activity and sympathetic nervous system arousal. C) withdrawing from the stressor and taking care of their own emotional needs. Among chimpanzees, this may consist of kissing and friendly grinning; among women, talking on the telephone or "doing lunch." Friedman, H.S., & Silver, R.C. Allomothers (helpers who are not a child's mother) protect, provision, carry, and care for children. This model contrasts with the "fight-or-flight response" which states that in the face of a harmful stressor, we either face it or run from it. Studies by psychologist Rena Repetti in the late 1990's showed that after a hard day at work, women were much more nurturing toward their children, whereas men withdrew from family life. Psychology Today © 2021 Sussex Publishers, LLC, Two Words Stop Toxic Habits and Addiction in Their Tracks, How Baby Boomers Maintain Their Sex Lives, What Goes on Beneath the Surface When Narcissists Get Angry, Four Ways to Improve Your Time Management, Why Some People Don’t Seek Mental Health Services, Analysis Paralysis vs. [8] Oxytocin, released in response to stressors, may be the mechanism underlying the female caregiving response. Although social support downregulates these physiological stress responses in both men and women, women are more likely to seek social contact during stress. Shelley E. Taylor. One concept we hear about in the investment and financial planning world is a real downer. [11] Humans have spent most of human evolution as hunter-gatherer foragers. But does a "man run amok" tendency truly lurk in everyone? 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