Title
Lineage based differences in grandparental investment: evidence from a large British cohort study Lineage based differences in grandparental investment: evidence from a large British cohort study
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Publication type
article
Publication
Oxford ,
Subject
Sociology
Biology
Human medicine
Source (journal)
Journal of biosocial science. - Oxford
Volume/pages
41(2009) :3 , p. 355-379
ISSN
0021-9320
ISI
000265319800004
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Evolutionary theory suggests that maternal grandparents will invest more in their grandchildren than paternal grandparents, due to the difference between the certainty of maternity and the uncertainty of paternity. Most tests of this prediction have tended to use retrospective ratings by grandchildren rather than examining grandparental behaviour. Using a large-scale data set from the UK (n>7000), significant differences are shown between maternal and paternal grandparents in terms of frequencies of contact with their newborn grandchildren, while controlling for a wide range of other variables. Maternal grandparents also provided a significantly wider range of financial benefits than paternal grandparents. Maternal grandparents were also more likely to provide essentials and gifts and extras for the baby. Multiple correspondence analysis showed that contact frequencies systematically related to other measures of grandparental investment, indicating that contact frequencies are a useful proxy measure to examine overall investment. Findings are discussed with reference to the paternity uncertainty hypothesis.
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