My research focuses on the processes of development and adaptation from an evolutionary perspective, particularly as they relate to early childhood. Research on the family system has dealt with factors related to quality of attachment and it’s influence on subsequent social development, the dynamics of mutual control in the parent-child relationship, parenting stress and external risk and protective factors influencing the course of development. My research on peer relations has explored social structures, sex role development, friendships and the manner in which children balance cooperative and competitive behaviors in pursuit of resources. Studies emphasizing cognitive factors have investigated how children detect contingencies in the social environment and make inferences about other’s intentions, while research on emotion has examined the role of affect in the development of social competence, frustration tolerance, anxiety and social withdrawal.
Peter lives in the coastal village of Blue Hill where he enjoys a variety of water/winter sports, nature photography and birdwatching.
- LaFreniere, P. & Weisfeld, G. (2014). An Evolutionary Science of Human Behavior: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Linus Publications. 450 pages.
- LaFreniere, P. (2014). Evolving the future by creating and adapting to novel environments. Peer Commentary. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 37,(4), 429-430. doi: 10.1017/S0140525X13003208.
- LaFreniere, P.J. (2014). Book review: The Gap: The Science of What Separates Us from Other Animals.By Thomas Suddendorf. Human Ethology Bulletin.
- Liu, C. & LaFreniere, P. (2014). The effects of age-mixing on peer cooperation and competition. Human Ethology Bulletin, 29(1) 4-17.
- LaFreniere, P. (2013). Children’s play as a context for managing physiological arousal and learning emotion regulation. Psychological Topics, 22 (2), 183-204.
- LaFreniere, P. & MacDonald, K. & (2013). A post-genomic view of behavioral development and adaptation to the environment. Developmental Review, 89-109.
- Smith, R. & LaFreniere, P. (2013). Development of Tactical Deception from 4 to 8 Years of Age. British Journal of Developmental Psychology.31, 30-41.
- MacDonald, K. & LaFreniere, P. (2012). The fate of heritability in the post-genomic era. Peer Commentary. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 35, (6), 40-41.
- Weisfeld, G. & LaFreniere, P. (2012). Need for more evolutionary and developmental perspective. Peer Commentary. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 35, (3), 171-172.
- LaFreniere, P. (2011). Evolutionary functions of social play: Life history, sex differences and emotion regulation. American Journal of Play, 3(4), 464-488. http://www.journalofplay.org/issues/213
- Collins, A., LaFreniere, P. & Simpson, J.A. (2011). Relationships across the Lifespan: The Benefits of a Theoretically Based Longitudinal Developmental Perspective. In D. Cicchetti & G. I. Roisman (Eds.) Minnesota Symposia on Child Psychology: The origins and organization of adaptation and maladaptation, Vol. 36.
- LaFreniere, P.J. (2010). Adaptive Origins: Human Evolution and Development. Psychology Press/Taylor & Francis. 400 pages. http://www.psypress.com/adaptive-origins-9780805860122
- LaFreniere, P. (2009). A Functionalist Perspective on Social Anxiety in Childhood and Adolescence. Development and Psychopathology, 21,1065-1082.
- Smith, R. & LaFreniere, P. (2009). Development of Children’s Ability to Infer Intentions from Nonverbal Cues, Journal of Social, Evolutionary, & Cultural Psychology, 3(4), 315-327.
- Walters, J. & LaFreniere, P.J. (2007). Guilt and shame in preschoolers: developmental and individual differences. Developmental Psychology.
- LaFreniere, P.J. (2005). Human emotions as multipurpose adaptations: An evolutionary perspective on the development of fear. In R. Burgess & K. MacDonald (Eds.), Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Development. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
- LaFreniere, P.J.; Masataka, N.; Butovskaya, M.; Chen, Q. Dessen, M.A.; Atwanger, K.; Shreiner, S.; Montirosso, R.; & Frigerio, A. (2002). Cross-Cultural Analysis of Social Competence and Behavior Problems in Preschoolers. Early Education and Development, 13 (2).
- LaFreniere, P.J. (2002). Introduction to the Special Issue: Cultural perspectives on social competence. Early Education and Development, 13 (2).
LaFreniere, P.J. (2000). Emotional development: A biosocial perspective. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Press. (331 pages)
- Walters, J. & LaFreniere, P. (2000). A naturalistic study of affective expression, social competence, and sociometric status in preschoolers. Early Education and Development, 11(1), 109-122.
- LaFreniere, P.J. & Capuano, F. (1997). Preventive intervention as a means of clarifying direction of effects in socialization: The case of anxious-withdrawn preschoolers. Development and Psychopathology, 9, 551-564.
- LaFreniere, P.J.. & Dumas, J.E. (1996). Social Competence and Behavior Evaluation in Children Aged Three to Six: The Short Form (SCBE-30). Psychological Assessment, 8 (4), 369-377.
- LaFreniere, P.J. (1996). Cooperation among peers as a conditional strategy: The influence of family ecology and kin relations. International Journal of Behavioral Development. 19(1), 39-52.
- LaFreniere, P.J. & MacDonald. K. (1996). Developmental and evolutionary perspectives on cooperation and competition among peers. International Journal of Behavioral Development. 19(1),1-5.
- LaFreniere, P.J. & Dumas, J.E. (1995). Behavioral and contextual manifestations of parenting stress in mother-child interaction. Early Education and Development, 6(1), 73-91.
- LaFreniere, P.J. & Dumas, J.E. (1995). Social Competence and Behavior Evaluation, preschool edition. Los Angeles: Western Psychological Services. (60 pages).
- Dumas, J.E.; LaFreniere, P.J. & Serketich, W. J. (1995). Balance of power: A transactional analysis of control in mother-child dyads involving socially competent, aggressive, and anxious children. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 104(1), 104-113.
- Dumas, J.E. & LaFreniere, P.J. (1993). Mother-child relationships as sources of support or stress: A comparison of competent, average, aggressive, and anxious dyads: Child Development.(64)4, 1732-1754.
- LaFreniere, P.J. & Dumas, J.E. (1992). A transactional analysis of early childhood anxiety and social withdrawal. Development and Psychopathology, 4(4),385-402.
- LaFreniere, P.J.; Dumas, J.; Dubeau, D. & Capuano, F. (1992). The development and validation of the preschoool socio-affective profile. Psychological Assessment: Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 4(4), 442-450.