Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Life History Theory

Living reference work entry

Later version available View entry history

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_1542-1
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Synonyms

Definitions

Life History Theory

A framework for understanding between- and within-species differences in the strategic allocation of bioenergetic and material resources toward competing goals, such as somatic effort, mating effort, and parental effort. Approaches to the study of life history strategies initially focused on biodemographic markers of life history strategies (growth rates, pubertal timing, age at first birth, interbirth interval). Over the last two decades, an increasing body of research has also examined life history using a psychological perspective in efforts to identify additional motivations, attitudes, feelings, and behaviors that may reflect life history strategies (desire to delay reproduction, trade-offs between long-term goals and short-term goals, interpersonal relationships, sociosexuality).

Somatic Effort

Allocation of resources toward one’s own growth, development, and maintenance.

Mating Effort

Allocation of resources toward...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Southwest Institute for Research on WomenUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Jon Sefcek
    • 1
  1. 1.Kent State UniversityKentUSA