From environment to mating competition and super-K in a predominantly Urban sample of young adults

George B. Richardson, Jacinda K. Dariotis, Mark H.C. Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Recent research suggests human life history strategy (LHS) may be subsumed by multiple dimensions, including mating competition and Super-K, rather than one. In this study, we test whether a two-dimensional structure best fit data from a predominantly urban sample of young adults ages 18-24. We also test whether latent life history dimensions are associated with environmental harshness and unpredictability as predicted by life history theory. Results provide evidence that a two-dimensional model best fit the data. Furthermore, a moderate inverse residual correlation between mating competition and Super-K was found, consistent with a life history trade-off. Our findings suggest that parental socioeconomic status may enhance investment in mating competition, that harshness might persist into young adulthood as an important correlate of LHS, and that unpredictability may not have significant effects in young adulthood. These findings further support the contention that human LHS is multidimensional and environmental effects on LHS are more complex than previously suggested. The model presented provides a parsimonious explanation of an array of human behaviors and traits and can be used to inform public health initiatives, particularly with respect to the potential impact of environmental interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEvolutionary Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017


  • Human life history strategy
  • K-factor
  • Life history theory
  • Mating competition
  • Mating effort
  • Psychometrics
  • Psychosocial acceleration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • General Medicine
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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