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Family RelationshipsAn Evolutionary Perspective$
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Catherine A. Salmon and Todd K. Shackelford

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195320510

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195320510.001.0001

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Toward an Evolutionary Psychology of the Family

Toward an Evolutionary Psychology of the Family

(p.3) 1 Toward an Evolutionary Psychology of the Family
Family Relationships

Catherine A. Salmon (Contributor Webpage)

Todd K. Shackelford

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides an introduction to the themes of this volume. Relationships with family are at the heart of human lives. As infants, we are dependent on our families for our survival and for helping us learn about the world around us. One day, the majority of people move out of the circle of their kin to form a family of their own and yet most retain strong ties to their natal kin. Family relationships are important to our emotional health and our social success. They are a source of great joy and sometimes a source of great pain. They can be our strongest allies and our most persistent opponents. There are hundreds of popular press books devoted to helping us understand and manage our family relationships. Most of these works consider the hows and possible ways to deal with family processes. The chapters in this volume address the whys, the reasons behind people's behavior and how a greater understanding of “whys” can help us in our own lives, to better understand our own behavior and that of our family members. It provides an evolutionary perspective on the forces that shape our family relationships.

Keywords:   kin, emotional health, evolutionary perspective, behavior

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