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The Human Family—Its Evolutionary Context and Diversity
Article

Non-Parental Investment in Children and Child Outcomes after Parental Death or Divorce in a Patrilocal Society

Social Work Department, University of Canterbury, Christchurch 8041, New Zealand
Academic Editors: Kristin Snopkowski and Paula Sheppard
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(6), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10060196
Received: 14 January 2021 / Revised: 16 May 2021 / Accepted: 25 May 2021 / Published: 27 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Behavioral Ecology of the Family)
Children rely on support from parental helpers (alloparents), perhaps especially in high-needs contexts. Considerable evidence indicates that closer relatives and maternal relatives are the most likely to provide this care, as inclusive fitness theory suggests, but whether this is equally true across different family types and in culturally patrilocal societies requires investigation. This structured interview study (N = 208 respondents with 323 dependent children) focuses on who helps raise children in rural Bangladesh after the father’s or mother’s death, or divorce, in comparison to families with both parents present or the father temporarily a migrant laborer. Family types differed in where and with whom children resided, who served as their primary and secondary caregivers, and who provided material support, but mother’s kin played a major role, and were the primary providers of material resources from outside the child’s household in all family types. Despite the patrilineal ideology, only one-quarter of children of divorce lived with the father or his family, and even after the death of the mother, only 59% remained with father or other paternal kin. Household income varied by family type and was a strong predictor of child height and weight. The children of deceased mothers moved between successive caregivers especially frequently, and were uniquely likely to have no schooling. The typology of Bangladeshi society as patrilocal obscures the extent to which matrilateral family support children’s well-being. View Full-Text
Keywords: alloparents; grandmother; death of a parent; divorce; Bangladesh; family laterality; childcare; kinship; human behavioral ecology; mother’s brother alloparents; grandmother; death of a parent; divorce; Bangladesh; family laterality; childcare; kinship; human behavioral ecology; mother’s brother
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MDPI and ACS Style

Perry, G.C. Non-Parental Investment in Children and Child Outcomes after Parental Death or Divorce in a Patrilocal Society. Soc. Sci. 2021, 10, 196. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10060196

AMA Style

Perry GC. Non-Parental Investment in Children and Child Outcomes after Parental Death or Divorce in a Patrilocal Society. Social Sciences. 2021; 10(6):196. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10060196

Chicago/Turabian Style

Perry, Gretchen C. 2021. "Non-Parental Investment in Children and Child Outcomes after Parental Death or Divorce in a Patrilocal Society" Social Sciences 10, no. 6: 196. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10060196

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