Undercare refers to missing or degraded evolved nest components in a child’s life that consequently undermine human health, capacities and potential. Psychologically, undercare shapes the individual to be more self-centered. Instead of growing a healthy neurobiology and prosocial capacities, undercared for individuals are conditioned into resonating with survival systems (“reptilian” brain; stress response) and resorting to self-protectionist actions such as territoriality, rigid routines, and dominance (through the sympathetic nervous system) or paralysis (through the parasympathetic nervous system) (Narvaez, 2008, 2014, 2016). The child’s neurobiology develops in the direction of self-protection with a cacostatic (too much or too little) social orientation (dominance or submission), undermining capacities for social engagement and flexible, egalitarian attunement.
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