Open Peer Commentary
In discussing the effects of grandparents on child survival in natural fertility populations, Coall & Hertwig (C&H) rely extensively on the review by Sear and Mace (2008). We conducted a more detailed summary of the same literature and found that the evidence in favor of beneficial associations between grandparenting and child survival is generally weak or absent. The present state of the data on human alloparenting supports a more restricted use of the term “cooperative breeding.” Human stem family situations with celibate helpers-at-the-nest can be described as cooperatively breeding, but the term is a poor fit to many human family systems.
Grandparental investment: Past, present, and future David A. Coall and Ralph Hertwig School of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, University of Western Australia, Fremantle, Western Australia 6160, Australia. firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.uwa.edu.au/people/david.coall; Department of Psychology, University of Basel, 4055 Basel, Switzerland. email@example.com http://www.psycho.unibas.ch/hertwig