Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

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

Parent Influences

  • Teresa Lillis
  • Shruti Idnani
  • James Gerhart
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_2403-1


Introduction to Parental Influence

Parental influence refers to the effects that parental (or caregiver) behaviors have on the development of offsprings’ future behavior, preferences, and personality traits.

There is little debate that parents have a profound effect on the development of their offspring. Indeed, human infants are among the most helpless newborn species and their survival to maturity is categorically dependent upon the presence and investment of parental caregivers. The first 5–7 years of a child’s life is a time of considerable neuroplasticity, thus, depending upon what the child is exposed to during this time, parents will have considerable influence on the child’s development across a variety of domains. These include the language a child speaks, the child’s food preferences, the child’s future religious beliefs, and, indeed, enduring aspects of the child’s personality (Maccoby 2000).

The Role of Parental Investment


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Behavioral SciencesRush University Medical CenterChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Rush University Medical CenterChicagoUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Carey Fitzgerald
    • 1
  1. 1.University of South Carolina - BeaufortBlufftonUSA