Do evolutionary mechanisms apply for adoptive families? – The link between physical resemblance, personality similarity and odor recognition on the parent-child relationship in adoptive families
MetadataShow full item record
From an evolutionary perspective, parental investment may be guided by psychological mechanisms which were shaped by natural selection and rely on certain cues of resemblance which could indicate kinship. This study investigates whether certain evolutionary mechanisms also apply for adoptive families. The influence of facial resemblance, personality similarity and odor recognition on the parent-child relationship was examined within 54 families with 76 children. A positive correlation between facial resemblance and time investment for adoptive mothers was found. For personality similarity a link to investment was found for both adoptive mothers and fathers. Increased personality similarity between mother and child was related to more maternal time investment and less use of corporal punishment. For adoptive fathers personality similarity was positively correlated to emotional closeness. Additionally, a relation between odor recognition and maternal investment was found, whereby the ability to recognize the child was linked to the increased use of corporal punishment. Taken together, these results indicate that underlying evolutionary mechanisms may also influence the parent-child relationship between adoptive parents and their children.