Reciprocity and Resource Exchange

A Symbiotic Model of Parent-Offspring Relations
  • Jeffrey R. Alberts
  • David J. Gubernick


The concept, metaphor, model, or reality of “symbiosis in parent-young interactions” poses a delightful intellectual and empirical challenge. This chapter represents a preliminary exploration of a symbiotic model of parent-offspring relations. Our purpose is to examine whether, how, to what extent, and with what outcomes the relations of parents and offspring are, indeed, symbiotic. We will attempt to establish a psychobiological framework for our model of symbiosis in parent-young relations. This framework is based on both biological and psychological concepts of symbiosis. However, we rely primarily on the biological model, because biologists have grappled with conceptual and empirical problems relating to symbiosis for more than a century. There is much to be learned from their experience.


Physiological Psychology Resource Exchange Tactile Stimulation Cutaneous Contact Lactate Female 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey R. Alberts
    • 1
  • David J. Gubernick
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

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