Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Altruism and HealthPerspectives from Empirical Research$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Stephen G. Post

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195182910

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195182910.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 15 October 2019

Close Relationships and Health Through the Lens of Selective Investment Theory

Close Relationships and Health Through the Lens of Selective Investment Theory

(p.299) 16 Close Relationships and Health Through the Lens of Selective Investment Theory
Altruism and Health

Stephanie L. Brown

R. Michael Brown

Ashley Schiavone

Dylan M. Smith

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews a program of research that was designed to explore the health benefits of helping or giving support to others. This work was inspired by a new evolutionary theory of altruism, selective investment theory (SIT), which recasts the functional significance of social bonds as designed by natural selection to promote adaptive instances of giving. SIT assumes that social bonds enable individuals to suppress self-interest so that they can reliably prioritize and promote the well-being of another, even at a cost to the self. In this way, the social bond resolves the motivational conflict inherent in deciding whether to promote self versus other interests. The chapter describes the results of four studies that demonstrate the health benefits of helping others, including decreased mortality risk, recovery from depressive symptoms following spousal loss, and relief from cardiovascular stress. It concludes with a discussion of promising new directions for future research in this area.

Keywords:   health benefits, helping, selective investment theory, social bonds, recovery, depression

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .