Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Parental Investment

  • Brittany Paige Mihalec-AdkinsEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_1865-1



Parental investment can be thought of as any expenditure by parents that promotes the survival and well-being of their offspring. These contributions come at the cost of parents’ abilities to invest in the fitness of themselves or other potential offspring and are considered to widely differ between male and female parents.


Often discussed within an evolutionary or life history strategies framework and applicable to both humans and nonhuman animals, the term “parental investment” refers to the allocation of resources to offspring (Trivers 1972). These resources include the time, money, and energy parents invest in their children – typically at significant cost to more self-interested investments. In addition to the financial costs of rearing children, human parents often incur social, career-related, and physical costs, as well as a general...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Purdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • John F. Rauthmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWake Forest UniversityWinston-SalemUSA