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Did grandmothers enhance reproductive success in historic populations? : Testing evolutionary theories on historical demographic data in Scandinavia and North America

Dillon Lisa Y., Chernenko Alla, Dribe Martin, Engelhardt Sacha, Gagnon Alain, Hanson Heidi A., Meeks Huong, Quaranta Luciana, Smith Ken R. et Vézina Hélène. (2020). Did grandmothers enhance reproductive success in historic populations? : Testing evolutionary theories on historical demographic data in Scandinavia and North America. Dans Oscar Burger, Ron Lee et Rebecca Sear (dir.), Human Evolutionary Demography. (). Cambridge, Royaume-Uni : Open Book Publishers.

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Human reproductive success requires both producing children and making investments in the development of offspring. To a large extent these investments are made by the parents of the child, but researchers are now looking beyond the nuclear family to understand how extended kin, notably grandmothers, enhance reproductive success by making transfers to progeny of different kinds. The extent to which kin influence fertility and mortality outcomes may vary across different socio-economic and geographic contexts; as a result, an international comparative framework is used here to sharpen our understanding of the role of kin in reproduction. This chapter assesses the role of grandmothers in fertility outcomes in a comparative historical demographic study based on data from Scandinavia and North America. The individual-level data used are all longitudinal and multigenerational, allowing us to address the impact of maternal and paternal grandmothers on the fertility of their daughters and daughters-in-law, while attending to heterogeneous effects across space and time as well as within-family differences via the use of fixed effects models. We discover broader associations of the paternal grandmother with higher fertility across the four regions. We also find a general fertility advantage associated with the post-reproductive availability or recent death of the maternal grandmother in the four populations. Important variations across regions nevertheless exist in terms of the strength of the association, the importance of the grandmother’s proximity, and the results derived by using fixed effects models. Our interpretation is that grandmothers were generally associated with high-fertility outcomes, but that the mechanism for this effect was co-determined by family configurations, resource allocation and the advent of fertility control.

Type de document:Chapitre de livre
Lieu de publication:Cambridge, Royaume-Uni
Sujets:Sciences sociales et humaines > Sciences humaines > Histoire
Sciences sociales et humaines > Sciences sociales > Démographie
Département, module, service et unité de recherche:Départements et modules > Département des sciences humaines
Éditeurs:Burger, Oscar
Lee, Ron
Sear, Rebecca
Déposé le:03 nov. 2022 13:50
Dernière modification:03 nov. 2022 13:50
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