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      Grandparental Childcare for Biological, Adopted, and Step-Offspring: Findings From Cross-National Surveys


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          Based on kin selection theory, amounts of grandparental investment should reflect the probability to share common genes with offspring. Adoption may represent a special case, however, yet grandparental investment in adopted children has previously been both theoretically misconstrued and little investigated. Here, we study for the first time how grandparental childcare provision is distributed between biological, adopted, and step-offspring. Using Generations and Gender Surveys ( n = 15,168 adult child–grandmother and 12,193 adult child–grandfather dyads) and the Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe ( n = 17,233 grandmother–adult child and 13,000 grandfather–adult child dyads), we find that grandparents were less likely to provide care to stepchildren than to adopted and biological children, but no difference between adopted and biological children. These findings were present in both data sets and for both grandmothers and grandfathers, after several potentially confounding factors were taken into account. The stepchild disadvantage is in line with kin selection theory. The congruent amounts of care provided to adopted and biological children may reflect similar levels of adult–child attachment, selection effects, and greater need in adoptive families, as well as some degree of genetical relatedness in the case of kin adoption. The study provides new evidence of biased kin investments in contemporary societies and stresses the importance of psychological motivation and attachment in evolutionary studies of kin investment.

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          The genetical evolution of social behaviour. I.

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            Data Resource Profile: the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE).

            SHARE is a unique panel database of micro data on health, socio-economic status and social and family networks covering most of the European Union and Israel. To date, SHARE has collected three panel waves (2004, 2006, 2010) of current living circumstances and retrospective life histories (2008, SHARELIFE); 6 additional waves are planned until 2024. The more than 150 000 interviews give a broad picture of life after the age of 50 years, measuring physical and mental health, economic and non-economic activities, income and wealth, transfers of time and money within and outside the family as well as life satisfaction and well-being. The data are available to the scientific community free of charge at www.share-project.org after registration. SHARE is harmonized with the US Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) and has become a role model for several ageing surveys worldwide. SHARE's scientific power is based on its panel design that grasps the dynamic character of the ageing process, its multidisciplinary approach that delivers the full picture of individual and societal ageing, and its cross-nationally ex-ante harmonized design that permits international comparisons of health, economic and social outcomes in Europe and the USA.
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              Grandparents Caring for their Grandchildren: Findings From the 2004 Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe


                Author and article information

                Evol Psychol
                Evol Psychol
                Evolutionary Psychology
                SAGE Publications (Sage CA: Los Angeles, CA )
                17 March 2020
                Jan-Mar 2020
                : 18
                : 1
                : 1474704920907894
                [1 ]University of Helsinki, Finland
                [2 ]University of Turku, Finland
                [3 ]Väestöliitto, Finland
                Author notes
                [*]Antti O. Tanskanen, University of Turku, Assistentinkatu 7, Turku 20014, Finland. Email: antti.tanskanen@ 123456utu.fi
                Author information
                © The Author(s) 2020

                This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages ( https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).

                : 23 October 2019
                : 16 January 2020
                Funded by: Koneen Säätiö, https://doi.org/10.13039/501100005781;
                Original Article
                Custom metadata
                January-March 2020

                adoption,childcare,ggs,grandchildren,grandparents,psychological attachment,share,stepchildren,stepparents


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