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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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Grandparental and Extended Kin Relationships

Grandparental and Extended Kin Relationships

Chapter:
(p.230) 11 Grandparental and Extended Kin Relationships
Source:
Family Relationships
Author(s):

Harald A. Euler

Richard L. Michalski

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195320510.003.0011

This chapter argues that grandparenthood may trigger psychological adaptations with relationship-specific features. Grandparental investment cannot be understood adequately without consideration of its Darwinian fitness consequences. Relationships with aunts/uncles and nieces/nephews also cannot be understood without such a consideration. Because parents are mediators of grandparent and grandchild relationships, the evolutionary analysis of grandparenthood sheds light on the seemingly universal plight of in-law relationships, most conspicuous in the conflict between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law. Investment in progeny and emotional closeness of intergenerational dyads is highly and robustly structured. This structure is parsimoniously and to a considerable extent accounted for by a few basic reproductively relevant variables including sex-specific reproductive strategy and relationship uncertainty.

Keywords:   grandparenthood, reproductive strategy, uncertainty, intergenerational, Darwinian fitness

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