Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary

The generation game is the cooperation game: The role of grandparents in the timing of reproduction

Rebecca Seara1 and Thomas E. Dickinsa2

a1 Department of Social Policy, London School of Economics, London WC2A 2AE, United Kingdom.

a2 School of Psychology, University of East London, London E15 4LZ, United Kingdom.


Coall & Hertwig (C&H) demonstrate the importance of grandparents to children, even in low fertility societies. We suggest policy-makers interested in reproductive timing in such contexts should be alerted to the practical applications of this cooperative breeding framework. The presence or absence of a supportive kin network could help explain why some women begin their reproductive careers “too early” or “too late.”