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Life History Theory

Although developmental psychologists have in-depth knowledge of human life-span development, developmental biologists have a breadth of knowledge of the life-span development of all or many animals, including that of humans. Life history theory (LHT) is a developed field in evolutionary and developmental biology and is increasingly adopted by developmental psychologists. Life history (LH) concerns developmental events (e.g., weaning, pubertal onset, giving birth), their schedules (i.e., when do these events happen and do they happen early or late in life?), and their characteristics (e.g., a prolonged childhood and childhood events; postmenopausal life and its function). All of these are termed LH traits, which comprise LH from birth to death. The theory part of LHT focuses on trade-offs among different LH traits in response to environmental conditions. ...

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