Term: Differential Susceptibility Hypothesis

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Glossary Definition

Last Updated: 2012-05-16


The theory, posited by Jay Belsky, that "individuals vary in the degree they are affected by experiences or qualities of the environment they are exposed to. Some individuals are more susceptible to such influences than others - not only to negative but also to positive ones." (Source: Wikipedia - Differential Susceptibility Hypothesis - accessed May 16, 2012).

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  • Santos R, Brownell M, Ekuma O, Mayer T, Soodeen R-A. The Early Development Instrument (EDI) in Manitoba: Linking Socioeconomic Adversity and Biological Vulnerability at Birth to Children's Outcomes at Age 5. Winnipeg, MB: Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, 2012. [Summary] [Full Report] (View)