Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

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

Ecology of Pair-Bond Stability

  • Geoff Kushnick
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_111-1



The study of physical and social environmental factors influencing pair-bond stability and dissolution.


Humans are a pair-bonding species, and this is reflected in our behavior and physiology (Quinlan 2008). While their form and duration varies, pair-bonds exist in all human societies—and there are very few, if any, exceptions to this rule. To understand the stability of pair-bonds, it is useful to look at the contexts under which they are unstable, to examine the factors that increase the probability of divorce or dissolution. These factors have been well studied by scholars in sociology, psychology, anthropology, medicine, and law. Despite this, the ecological factors driving pair-bond stability and divorce have received much less attention in humans as they have in studies of other pair-bonding organisms, such as birds.

This entry will provide a selective and brief account of (1) the behavioral...


Inclusive Fitness Evolutionarily Stable Strategy Paternal Care Fitness Payoff Human Behavioral Ecology 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Australian National UniversityCanberraAustralia