Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Infant Abandonment

  • Prarthana Franklin
  • Katerina SchiralliEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_771-1

Synonyms

Definition

Terminating investment in an offspring by abandoning the offspring.

Introduction

It has been well established that parenting is a complex behavior. Parental investment theory posits that this complexity is partially due to the lack of resources in the environment and the high cost of parental investment (e.g., physical energy during gestation, breastfeeding, and postnatal protection of the offspring; Trivers 1972). These factors may collectively compel parents to (both consciously and unconsciously) make harsh decisions about whether it may be more beneficial to invest in themselves or in their offspring. Evolutionary theory suggests that it may indeed be favorable for parents to, under certain circumstances, terminate investment in a given offspring to either (a) invest more in the other more viable offspring or (b) invest in the parents’ own growth and development so that they may have more viable...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Brock UniversitySt. CatharinesCanada

Section editors and affiliations

  • Steven Arnocky
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts and SciencesNipissing UniversityNorth BayCanada