Research Output
Affiliative Response to Stress: an empirical investigation of Tend-and-Befriend model
  Stress research in humans has been considered predominantly within the conceptual framework of Cannon’s Fight-or-Flight model. However, observations that it was primarily tested on males led to the development of the tend-befriend model in females (Taylor et al., 2000). The evolutionary function of this adaptive mechanism is to facilitate female and offspring survival and reproductive success. Thus, it has been suggested that in times of danger, when the fight/flight response is not beneficial for the female or offspring security, tending and befriending behaviours are exhibited by the females resulting in increasingly greater chances of survival (Porges, 2001). Observed sex differences in behavioural stress responses are thought to arise from the disproportionate evolutionary pressure on females and males, e.g. greater parental and metabolic investment in females (Trivers, 1972).

Nevertheless, seen as an adaptive mechanism, affiliative responses may also be exhibited by males (Berger et al., 2016; Von Dawans et al., 2012). However, there is a paucity of research examining potential affiliative responses in the male population (Berger et al., 2016). In order not only to shed some light on the ambiguous results, but also to test Taylor’s, tend-and-befriend model and its validity and reliability, we conducted a study, concerned with sex differences in affiliative responses during stress exposure.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    04 July 2018

  • Publication Status:


  • Funders:

    Historic Funder (pre-Worktribe)


Karastoyanova, K. V., & Sharp, M. A. (2018, July). Affiliative Response to Stress: an empirical investigation of Tend-and-Befriend model. Poster presented at 30th annual meeting of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, Amsterdam


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