Darcia Narvaez

Darcia Narvaez


Ph.D., University of Minnesota

(574) 631-7835


Corbett Family Hall

Notre Dame, IN 46556


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Dr. Narvaez’ research explores questions of species-typical and species-atypical development in terms of wellbeing, morality, and sustainable wisdom. She examines how early life experience (the evolved nest) influences moral functioning and wellbeing in children and adults. She integrates evolutionary, anthropological, neurobiological, clinical, developmental, and education sciences in her work. Questions that interest her include: How does early experience shape human nature? What do sustainable indigenous societies have to teach the modern world? What types of moral orientations do individuals develop in species-typical and -atypical environments? What is indigenous ecological wisdom and how do we cultivate it? How can educators and parents foster optimal development, wellbeing, and communal imagination? Her 2014 book won the 2015 William James Book Award from the APA and the 2017 Expanded Reason Award for research. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Psychological Association, and the American Educational Research Association. She hosts the website EvolvedNest.Org and is president of KindredMedia.org.


ND PIER Affiliate

Recent Publications

Selected Recent Publications

Four Arrows, & Narvaez, D. (2022). Restoring the kinship worldview: Indigenous voices introduce 28 precepts for rebalancing life on planet earth. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books.

Narvaez, D., Moore, D.S., Witherington, D.C., Vandiver, T.I., & Lickliter, R. (2021). Evolving evolutionary psychology. American Psychologist, Online First Publication, November 15, 2021. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/amp0000849 

Narvaez, D., Gleason, T., Tarsha, M., Woodbury, R., Cheng, A., Wang, L. (2021). Sociomoral temperament: A mediator between wellbeing and social outcomes in young children. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 5111. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.742199 

Tarsha, M. S., & Narvaez, D. (2021). Effects of adverse childhood experience on physiological regulation are moderated by evolved developmental niche history. Anxiety, Stress & Coping. DOI: 10.1080/10615806.2021.1989419 

Gleason, T., Tarsha, M.S., Narvaez, D., & Kurth, A. (2021). Opportunities for free play and young children’s autonomic regulation. Developmental Psychobiology, 63 (6), e22134. https://doi.org/10.1002/dev.22134 

Christen, M., Narvaez, D., Zenk, J.D., Villano, V., Crowell, C.R., & Moore, D.R. (2021). Trolley dilemma in the sky: Context matters when civilians and cadets make remotely piloted aircraft decisions. PLoS ONE, 16(3), e0247273. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0247273  

Kurth, A., Kohn, R., Bae, A., & Narvaez, D. (2021). Non-Indigenous need to relearn their ancestral knowledge of ecological attachment. Ecopsychology, 13(1), 68–69. https://doi.org/10.1089/eco.2020.0067 

Narvaez, D., & Tarsha, M. (2021). The missing mind: Contrasting civilization with non-civilization development and functioning. In T. Henley & M. Rossano (Eds.), Psychology and cognitive archaeology: An Interdisciplinary approach to the study of the human mind (pp. 55-69). London: Routledge. 

Narvaez, D. (2021). The Evolved Nest, virtue and vice. In E. Harcourt (Ed.) Attachment and Character Attachment Theory, Ethics, and the Developmental Psychology of Vice and Virtue (pp. 87-104). London: Oxford University Press. 

Narvaez, D. (2021). Species-typical phronesis for a living planet. In M. De Caro & M.S. Vaccarezza (Eds.), Practical Wisdom: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives (pp. 160-180). London: Routledge.

Narvaez, D. (2020). Moral education in a time of human ecological devastation. Journal of Moral Education,50(1), 55-67. https://doi.org/10.1080/03057240.2020.1781067 

Narvaez, D. (2020). Ecocentrism: Resetting baselines for virtue development. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 23, 391–406. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10677-020-10091-2 

Kurth, A., Kohn, R., Bae, A., & Narvaez, D. (2020). Indigenous nature connection: A 3-week intervention increased ecological attachment. Ecopsychology, 12(2), 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1089/eco.2019.0038 

Narvaez, D., & Duckett, L.  (2020). Ethics in early life care and lactation practice. Journal of Human Lactation. 36, 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1177/0890334419888454 

Gleason, T., & Narvaez, D. (2019). Beyond resilience to thriving: Optimizing child wellbeing. International Journal of Wellbeing, 9(4), 60-79. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5502/ijw.v9i4.987 

Tarsha, M., & Narvaez, D. (2019). The Evolved Nest: A partnership system that fosters child wellbeing. International Journal of Partnership Studies, 6(3). Open access: doi.org/10.24926/ijps.v6i3.2244  

Snow, N., & Narvaez, D. (Eds.) (2019). Self, motivation and virtue: Interdisciplinary perspectives. Routledge.

Deane-Drummond, C., Stapleford, T.A., & Narvaez, D. (2019). Practicing science: Virtues, values, and the good life. Notre Dame, IN: Center for Theology, Science and Human Flourishing.  Available at https://virtueandthepracticeofscience.pressbooks.com/ 

Narvaez, D., Four Arrows, Halton, E., Collier, B., Enderle, G. (Eds.) (2019). Indigenous Sustainable Wisdom: First Nation Know-how for Global Flourishing. New York: Peter Lang.

Narvaez, D., Woodbury, R., Gleason, T., Kurth, A., Cheng, A., Wang, L., Deng, L., & Gutzwiller-Helfenfinger, E., Christen, M., & Näpflin, C. (2019). Evolved Development Niche Provision: Moral socialization, social maladaptation and social thriving in three countries. Sage Open, 9(2). https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244019840123 

Narvaez, D. (2019). Moral development and moral values: Evolutionary and neurobiological influences. In D. P. McAdams, R. L. Shiner, & J. L. Tackett (Eds.), Handbook of personality (pp. 345-363). New York, NY: Guilford.

Narvaez, D. (2019). Evolution, childhood and the moral self. In R. Gipps & M. Lacewing (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of philosophy and psychoanalysis (pp. 637-659). London: Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198789703.013.39

Narvaez, D., and Witherington, D. (2018). Getting to baselines for human nature, development and wellbeing. Archives of Scientific Psychology, 6 (1), 205-213. DOI: 10.1037/arc0000053

Witherington, D., Overton, W., Lickliter, R., Marshall, P., and Narvaez, D. (2018). Metatheories and conceptual confusions in developmental science. Human Development, 61:181–198 (DOI:10.1159/000490160)

Narvaez, D. (Ed.) (2018). Basic needs, wellbeing and morality: Fulfilling human potential. New York: Palgrave-MacMillan.

Reilly, T., and Narvaez, D. (2018). Character, virtue and science: Linking psychological and philosophical views. Philosophy, Theology and the Sciences, 5, 51-79.

Narvaez, D. (2018). The developmental niche for peace. In P. Verbeek & B. Peters (Eds.), Peace ethology, behavioral processes and systems of peace (pp. 95-112). Oxford, England: Wiley-Blackwell.

Narvaez, D. (2018). Ethogenesis: Evolution, early experience and moral becoming. In J. Graham & K. Gray (Eds.), The Atlas of Moral Psychology (pp. 451-464). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Christen, M., Narvaez, D., and Gutzwiller, E. (2017). Comparing and integrating biological and cultural moral progress. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 20: 55. doi:10.1007/s10677-016-9773-y

Narvaez, D. (2017). Getting back on track to being human. Interdisciplinary Journal of Partnership Studies, 4(1), March 2, 2017, Online publication available at: http://pubs.lib.umn.edu/ijps/vol4/iss1/5

Narvaez, D., Wang, L, & Cheng, A. (2016). Evolved Developmental Niche History: Relation to adult psychopathology and morality. Applied Developmental Science, 20(4), 294-309. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10888691.2015.1128835

Narvaez, D., & Hardy, S. (2016). Measuring triune ethics orientations. In D. Narvaez, Embodied morality: Protectionism, engagement and imagination (pp. 47-72). New York, NY: Palgrave-Macmillan.

Narvaez, D. (2016). Kohlberg Memorial Lecture 2015: Revitalizing human virtue by restoring organic morality. Journal of Moral Education, 45(3), 223-238. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03057240.2016.1167029

Narvaez, D. (2016). Baselines for virtue. In J. Annas, D. Narvaez, & N. Snow  (Eds.), Developing the virtues: Integrating perspectives (pp. 14-33). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Narvaez, D. (2016). Embodied morality: Protectionism, engagement and imagination. New York, NY: Palgrave-Macmillan.

Narvaez, D., Braungart-Rieker, J., Miller, L., Gettler, L., & Hastings, P. (2016). (Eds.), Contexts for young child flourishing: Evolution, family and society. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Annas, J., Narvaez, D., & Snow, N.  (2016). (Eds.). Developing the virtues: Integrating perspectives. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Narvaez, D. (2014). Neurobiology and the development of human morality: Evolution, culture and wisdom. New York, NY: W.W. Norton.

Nucci, L., Narvaez, D., & Krettenauer, T. (Eds.) (2014). Handbook of moral and character education (2nd Ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.

Narvaez, D., Valentino, K., McKenna, J., Fuentes, A., & Gray, P. (Eds.) (2014). Ancestral landscapes in human evolution: Culture, childrearing and social wellbeing. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. (discount)

Narvaez, D., Panksepp, J., Schore, A., & Gleason, T. (Eds.) (2013). Evolution, early experience and human development: From research to practice and policy. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Narvaez, D., Gleason, T., Wang, L., Brooks, J., Lefever, J., Cheng, A., & Centers for the Prevention of Child Neglect (2013). The Evolved Development Niche: Longitudinal Effects of Caregiving Practices on Early Childhood Psychosocial Development. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 28 (4), 759–773. Doi: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2013.07.003.

Narvaez, D., Wang, L., Gleason, T., Cheng, A., Lefever, J., & Deng, L.  (2013). The Evolved Developmental Niche and sociomoral outcomes in Chinese three-year-olds. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 10(2), 106-127.