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Relatedness and investment in children in South Africa

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Anderson, Kermyt G. 2005. "Relatedness and investment in children in South Africa." Human Nature, 16(1): 1-31.

Investment in children by kin is examined using a nationally-representative sample of 11,211 black (African) households in South Africa. I randomly selected one child from each household in the sample, and calculated the average genetic relatedness of the other household members to the focal child. Using multivariate analysis to control for background variables, I examine whether the coefficient of relatedness predicts greater household expenditures on food, on health care, and on childrenís clothing. I also test whether a childís relatedness to his or her household is associated with more positive health and schooling outcomes. The results are consistent with an inclusive fitness model; households invest more in children who are more closely related. Two exceptions were found: in rural areas, genetic relatedness was negatively associated with money spent on food and on health care. Explanations for these results are discussed.

DOI:10.1007/s12110-005-1005-4 (Full Text)

Country of focus: South Africa.

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