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The generation game is the cooperation game: The role of grandparents in the timing of reproduction

  • Rebecca Sear (a1) and Thomas E. Dickins (a2)

Abstract

Coall & Hertwig (C&H) demonstrate the importance of grandparents to children, even in low fertility societies. We suggest policy-makers interested in reproductive timing in such contexts should be alerted to the practical applications of this cooperative breeding framework. The presence or absence of a supportive kin network could help explain why some women begin their reproductive careers “too early” or “too late.”

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Cater, S. & Coleman, L. (2006) “Planned” teenage pregnancy: Perspectives of young parents from disadvantaged backgrounds. Joseph Rowntree Foundation. The Policy Press.
Johns, S. E., Dickins, T. E. & Clegg, H. (in submission) Teenage pregnancy and motherhood: How might evolutionary theory inform policy?
Lee, E., Clements, S., Ingham, R. & Stone, N. (2004) A matter of choice? Explaining national variation in teenage abortion and motherhood. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation. York Publishing Services.
Mathews, P. S. & Sear, R. (in preparation) Kin orientation and the timing of first birth: Evidence from the British Household Panel Survey.
Ministry of Social Development, New Zealand (2009) The Social Report . Available at: http://www.socialreport.msd.govt.nz/people/fertility.html
Nettle, D., Coall, D. A. & Dickins, T. E. (2010) Birthweight and paternal involvement predict early reproduction in British women: Evidence from the British National Child Development Study. American Journal of Human Biology 22(2):172–79.
Nettle, D., Dickins, T. E. & Coall, D. A. (in submission.) Patterns of physical and psychological development in future teenage mothers.
Newson, L., Postmes, T., Lea, S. E. G. & Webley, P. (2005) Why are modern families small? Toward an evolutionary and cultural explanation for the demographic transition. Personality and Social Psychology Review 9(4):360–75.
Turke, P. W. (1989) Evolution and the demand for children. Population and Development Review 15:6190.

The generation game is the cooperation game: The role of grandparents in the timing of reproduction

  • Rebecca Sear (a1) and Thomas E. Dickins (a2)

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