The pace-of-life syndrome (POLS) hypothesis posits that life-history characteristics, among individual differences in behavior, and physiological traits have coevolved in response to environmental conditions. This hypothesis has generated much research interest because it provides testable predictions concerning the association between the slow-fast life-history continuum and behavioral and physiological traits. Although humans are among the most well-studied species and similar concepts exist in the human literature, the POLS hypothesis has not yet been directly applied to humans. Therefore, we aimed to (i) test predicted relationships between life history, physiology, and behavior in a human population and (ii) better integrate the POLS hypothesis with other similar concepts. Using data of a representative sample of German adolescents, we extracted maturation status for girls (menarche, n = 791) and boys (voice break, n = 486), and a set of health-related risk-taking behaviors and cardiovascular parameters. Maturation status and health-related risk behavior as well as maturation status and cardiovascular physiology covaried in boys and girls. Fast maturing boys and girls had higher blood pressure and expressed more risk-taking behavior than same-aged slow maturing boys and girls, supporting general predictions of the POLS hypothesis. Only some physiological and behavioral traits were positively correlated, suggesting that
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 14, 2018
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