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date: 18 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Sibling conflict is common across a wide variety of species, including humans. It is an expected process because offspring compete for dominance as well as food resources (most common in nonhuman species) and also for parental attention, money, and other personal resources in the case of human children. While most conflict in humans has no long lasting effects, under some circumstances, sibling conflict can turn violent and even result in death, what is commonly referred to as siblicide. While siblicide is quite rare in humans, from an evolutionary perspective, we would expect it to be influenced by some of the same factors as less intense sibling conflict. Such factors include sex of sibling, resource availability, birth spacing, and relatedness. These factors will be discussed with respect to research on sibling conflict and siblicide in human and nonhuman species.

Keywords: parental investment, sibling conflict, parent–offspring conflict, primogeniture

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