Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 13 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

At first glance, the relationship between parent and offspring seems to begin in perfect harmony. In particular, the image of human parents’ devotion to their infant is one that has been depicted in art for thousands of years. It often seems to stand in sharp contrast to the modern image of the typical adolescent–parent relationship, usually portrayed as full of strife. It’s also in contrast to the abrupt end of parent–child relations seen in many animal species. But are either really accurate? Should we expect total harmony or total conflict? What factors affect the degree of conflict between parent and child? Are there particular stages in the life of a child or parent that attenuate or exaggerate the degree of conflict? An evolutionary perspective on human and animal families provides useful insights to these and other questions.

Keywords: Parental investment, parent–offspring conflict, fitness, maternal–fetal conflict, kin selection

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.