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date: 21 April 2018

Abstract and Keywords

The family is a key human evolutionary adaptation. The extent and duration of offspring care is extraordinary—and unique in the huge informational transfer via language. Kin relationships are bilateral, complex, variable, multigenerational, and intergroup. Mating relationships are also variable, and influenced by kin in traditional cultures. These aspects of our sociality are biologically embedded in neurological and physiological mechanisms. Analysis of mechanisms such as affiliative and stress hormonal axes can provide clues into the evolution of the emotional and cognitive systems that underpin human family psychology.

Keywords: Child development, family, kinship, hormones, runaway social selection, human evolution

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