Evolutionary theory of parent–offspring conflict

  title={Evolutionary theory of parent–offspring conflict},
  author={H. Charles J. Godfray},
Natural selection can act in different ways on genes expressed in parents and their young, giving rise to parent–offspring conflict. The way in which this genetic conflict manifests itself at the behavioural level is unclear, and there has been widespread dissatisfaction that the theory has provided few testable predictions. A recent shift in emphasis from models that define the possible extent of conflict to those that predict its resolution offers greater hope of a testable theory of parent… 

Parent–offspring conflict and the genetic trade-offs shaping parental investment

This study investigates the occurrence and nature of genetic conflict in an insect with maternal care, the earwig Forficula auricularia, and demonstrates genetic trade-offs that differ in shape before and after hatching.

Natural Selection and Social Theory: Selected Papers of Robert Trivers

Reciprocal altruism, self-deception in service of deceit, and fluctuating asymmetry and 2nd:4th digit ratio in children are studied.

Parent-o ff spring con fl ict over family size in current China

Objectives: In China, the recent replacement of the one-child policy with a twochild policy could potentially change family ecology—parents may switch investment from exclusively one child to two.

Siblicide, family conflict and the evolutionary limits of selfishness

A précis is presented that aims to give a quick overview of the theory and empirical data addressing both sibling competition and parent-offspring conflict, and to update the book's literature review with a few late-breaking findings.

A tale of two theories: parent–offspring conflict and reproductive skew

  • M. Cant
  • Environmental Science
    Animal Behaviour
  • 2006

Parent-offspring conflict theory: an evolutionary framework for understanding conflict within human families.

This review demonstrates the utility of POCT, not only for explaining what is known about conflict within families but also for generating novel hypotheses, suggesting new lines of research, and moving us toward the "big picture" by integrating across biological and psychological domains of knowledge.

Parent‐offspring conflict over family size in current China

The hypotheses that if there is any opposition to firstborn opposition toward further reproduction of their mother, it will differ between sexes, weaken with offspring age and family resource availability, and affect maternal reproductive decision‐making are tested.

Intrafamilial conflict and parental investment: a synthesis.

It is concluded that it will often be impossible to deduce the extent of underlying conflict by establishing the amount of parental investment given relative to the ideal optimum for the parent.

Does mother nature punish rotten kids?

The theory of parent-offspring conflict predicts that mothers and their offspring may not agree about how resources should be allocated among family members. An offspring, for example, may favor a



On the Theory of Parent-Offspring Conflict: A Two-Locus Genetic Model

The terms "handicapped" and "selfish" are used interchangeably although it is realized that, in a behavioral sense, a selfish individual may not be handicapped and therefore, the delayed attainment of maturity at the expense of present or future sibs may be regarded as selfish.

Models of parent-offspring conflict. I. Monogamy

The dynamics of parent-offspring relationships in mammals.

  • P. Bateson
  • Psychology
    Trends in ecology & evolution
  • 1994


Two hypotheses can explain the overproduction of zygotes: selective abortion and bet‐hedging, which assumes that optimal brood size varies unpredictably among breeding attempts.

Parent–offspring conflict and the recruitment of helpers among bee-eaters

GENETIC conflicts of interest are to be expected between individuals in any non-clonal society1–5. One well studied form of conflict is that between parents and their offspring over the amount of