Socioecology shapes child and adolescent time allocation in twelve hunter-gatherer and mixed-subsistence forager societies

Nature Scientific Reports Vol/Iss. 12(8054) Nature Published In Pages: 1-16
By Lew-Levy, Sheina, Reckin, Rachel, Kissler, Stephen M., Pretelli, Illaria, Boyette, Adam H., Crittenden, Alyssa N., Hagen, Renee V., Haas, Randall, Kramer, Karen L., Koster, Jeremy M., O'Brien, Matthew J., Sonoda, Koji, Surovell, Todd A., Stieglitz, Jonathan, Tucker, Bram, Lavi, Noa, Ellis-Davies, Kate, Davis, Helen E.


Child and adolescent participation in food production will be lower and participation in childcare and domestic activities will be higher in societies with lower net primary productivity, annual precipitation, and annual mean temperature.


Because societies in harsher environments tend to be more cooperative, the researchers hypothesize that children and adolescents in such societies will hold more non-food producing roles such as childcare and domestic work. Presumably this gives adults more opportunity to increase their productivity. The model showed that none of the "harsh environment" variables they examined predicted any sort of child behavior, except for a slight correlation between cold temperatures and more time at play. However, the researchers noted that only the Dukha in Mongolia experienced temperatures below 0, and when they were removed from the analysis, this correlation disappeared.


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail
Multilevel Multinomial Behavioral ModelNot supportedp>.1UNKNOWNUNKNOWN