A constructive yet critical response to the following post. Min 250 words with empirical sources.
The parent-offspring conflict theory (POTC) is explained by Schlomer, Del Guidice, & Ellis (2011) as conflict between parent and child that can ultimately spawn conflict between siblings. The bottom line of this theory is the difference between the amount of parental investment the child feels is required and the amount of parental investment the parent feels is required, which is essentially never the same (Schlomer, Del Guidice, & Ellis, 2011). When more children are introduced into the family, then the investment from the parent into each individual child is reduced, thus intensifying the existing conflict between the parent and child as well as creating a new conflict between siblings as they compete for time and resources (investment) from the parents (Schlomer, Del Guidice, & Ellis, 2011). The intensity of the parent-offspring conflict (POC) seems to be dependent on the genetic relatedness between the parties involved (Schlomer, Dell Guidice, & Ellis, 2011). One example is a longitudinal study conducted by Schlomer, Ellis, & Garber (2010) in which they were able to conclude that the addition of half-siblings into the family dynamic created more conflict between parent and child than the addition of full siblings. In regard to real world application, POTC attempts to explain and enable understanding for conflict between parent and child over parental investment which begins during pregnancy (Schlomer, Del Guidice, & Ellis, 2011). The POTC also volunteers insight into conflict that arises as a result of weaning (Schlomer, Del Guidice, & Ellis, 2011). Sibling rivalry is also an area of focus for this theory. It offers an explanation for the competition between siblings that, although complex, can be traced back to the prenatal period (Schlomer, Del Guidice, & Ellis, 2011). Additionally, the POTC can draw from evidence provided through research on the attachment theory to predict conflict within the dynamic of the mother-father-child relationship. For example, if the mother becomes overly invested in the child, the mother and child are fulfilling needs each other’s for closeness for each other while the father might be left feeling rejected (Rothbaum, Rosen, Ujiie, & Uchida, 2002). Furthermore, POTC can be applied to step families, especially in the case where half-siblings are involved, to better understand the tensions and inequalities that often exist within this dynamic (Schlomer, Del Guidice, & Ellis, 2011). Conflict that often arises over the child’s choice of romantic partners are also explained in this theory and how the degree of conflict varies among cultures and species (Schlomer, Del Guidice, & Ellis, 2011). Although there has been increasing attention given to this theory in recent years, it remains immensely under researched. Due to its lack of exposure, researchers find it difficult to identify and collect effective empirical evidence to draw solid conclusions in some facets of the theory (Schlomer, Del Guidice, & Ellis, 2011). Because of the limited empirical literature, any hypothesis tested should be done with caution and the researcher should be aware and open to a likelihood that it will be disproved. References: Rothbaum, F., Rosen, K., Ujiie, T., & Uchida, N. (2002). Family systems theory, attachment theory, and culture. Family Process, 41(3), 328-350. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.portal.lib.fit.edu/docview/89110382?& . Schlomer, G., Del Guidice, M., & Ellis, B. (2011). Parent–offspring conflict theory: An evolutionary framework for understanding conflict within human families. Psychological Review, 118(3), 469-521. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.portal.lib.fit.edu/docview/868623752?&#s35 Schlomer, G., Ellis, B., & Garber, J. (2010). Mother–child conflict and sibling relatedness: A test of hypotheses from parent–offspring conflict theory. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 20(2), 287-306. doi:10.1111/j.1532-7795.2010.00641.x Edited on 10/27/2016 at 11:30:AM EDT
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