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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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Life Transitions: Becoming a Parent

Life Transitions: Becoming a Parent

(p.71) 4 Life Transitions: Becoming a Parent
Family Relationships

Sarah E. Johns

Jay Belsky

Oxford University Press

The birth of a child is a commonplace event, yet for the two individuals who become parents this transition to parenthood is a major life event. For men and women the challenges of parenthood will differ, and their relationship will undergo change as the demands of their new roles become apparent. Parenthood has the potential to change both men's and women's feelings about themselves and their relationship. This chapter explores the transition to parenthood, in particular asking why this can be difficult, why the experience of having a child is different for men and women, how the timing of the transition can be influenced by family relationships, and how the ease of transition for one generation can influence the timing of the transition in subsequent generations. This includes both proximate psychological aspects of becoming a parent and evolutionary or ultimate explanations of human reproductive patterns and parenting behaviors.

Keywords:   parenthood, roles, proximate, ultimate, parenting behaviors, transitions

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