Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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 Table of Contents    
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 59  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 385
Nurture the nature

Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

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Date of Web Publication6-Oct-2017

How to cite this article:
Sravanti L. Nurture the nature. Indian J Psychiatry 2017;59:385

How to cite this URL:
Sravanti L. Nurture the nature. Indian J Psychiatry [serial online] 2017 [cited 2020 Jul 13];59:385. Available from:

In the field of child development, there has been a constant nature versus nurture debate among professionals. While, nature is the genetic predisposition or biological makeup of an individual, nurture is the physical world that influences the nature. Some theorists lay emphasis on “stability” and others on “plasticity”.[1] However, this debate is redundant now. Behavioral epigenetic research has indicated that life experiences can affect gene expression.[2] In other words, nature is vulnerable to nurture, and there is evidence for bidirectional and interactive effects between parenting and children's characteristics.[3] During various phases of development, children need appropriate experiences that support their interest in exploration, experimentation, and self-direction.[4] Hence, modifying nurturing ways by adapting to the nature of a child will lead to desirable consequences both to the individual and society at large. This has been explained by using the analogy of nurturing a plant [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Nurturing nature

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Every sapling can grow into a tree with a tough trunk that supports itself and branches that spread across a large expanse serving multiple purposes. While, some need dry and arid environment, others flourish in moist and damp conditions. Providing care according to the requirements of a given plant will help in its growth. Similarly, every child has the potential to grow up to be a responsible adult provided the environment is conducive for his or her development. Therefore, catering to a given child's needs will facilitate the blooming process.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Berk LE. History, theory, and applied directions. In: Child Development. 9th ed. Noida: Pearson India Education Services; 2017. p. 8-9.  Back to cited text no. 1
Levitt M. Perceptions of nature, nurture and behaviour. Life Sci Soc Policy 2013;9:13.  Back to cited text no. 2
Kiff CJ, Lengua LJ, Zalewski M. Nature and nurturing: Parenting in the context of child temperament. Clin Child Fam Psychol Rev 2011;14:251-301.  Back to cited text no. 3
Bronson MB. Self-Regulation in Early Childhood: Nature and Nurture. New York: Guilford Press; 2000.  Back to cited text no. 4

Correspondence Address:
Lakshmi Sravanti
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_341_17

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  [Figure 1]