Skip to main content


Sociality, Hierarchy, Health: Comparative Biodemography is a collection of papers that examine cross-species comparisons of social environments with a focus on social behaviors along with social hierarchies and connections, to examine their effects on health, longevity, and life histories. This report covers a broad spectrum of nonhuman animals, exploring a variety of measures of position in social hierarchies and social networks, drawing links among these factors to health outcomes and trajectories, and comparing them to those in humans. Sociality, Hierarchy, Health revisits both the theoretical underpinnings of biodemography and the empirical findings that have emerged over the past two decades.

Suggested Citation

National Research Council. 2014. Sociality, Hierarchy, Health: Comparative Biodemography: A Collection of Papers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Import this citation to:

Publication Info

400 pages |  6 x 9 | 

  • Paperback:  978-0-309-30661-4
  • Ebook:  978-0-309-30664-5
Chapters skim
Front Matter i-xii
1 Sociality, Hierarchy, Health: Comparative Biodemography--Maxine Weinstein, Hillard Kaplan, and Meredith A. Lane 1-16
2 Alleles, Mortality Schedules, and the Evolutionary Theory of Senescence--Kenneth W. Wachter 17-38
3 Genes Revisited: The Biodemography of Social Environmental Variation Through a Functional Genomics Lens--Jenny Tung 39-64
4 The Long Reach of History: Intergenerational and Transgenerational Pathways to Plasticity in Human Longevity--Christopher W. Kuzawa and Dan T.A. Eisenberg 65-94
5 Genomic and Evolutionary Challenges for Biodemography--Kenneth M. Weiss 95-120
6 Evolutionary Perspectives on the Links Between Close Social Bonds, Health, and Fitness--Joan B. Silk 121-144
7 Pathways of Survival and Social Structure During Human Transitions from the Darwinian World--Caleb Finch and Burton Singer 145-168
8 Social and Economic Underpinnings of Human Biodemography--Paul L. Hooper, Michael Gurven, and Hillard Kaplan 169-196
9 Work to Live and Live to Work: Productivity, Transfers, and Psychological Well-Being in Adulthood and Old Age--Jonathan Stieglitz, Adrian V. Jaeggi, Aaron D. Blackwell, Benjamin C. Trumble, Michael Gurven, and Hillard Kaplan 197-222
10 Intergenerational Transfers, Social Arrangements, Life Histories, and the Elderly--Ronald Lee 223-246
11 Stress and Metabolic Disease--Karen K. Ryan 247-268
12 Hierarchy and Connectedness as Determinants of Health and Longevity in Social Insects--Brian Johnson and James R. Carey 269-294
13 Biodemography of Ectothermic Tetrapods Provides Insights into the Evolution and Plasticity of Mortality Patterns--David A. W. Miller, Fredric J. Janzen, Gary M. Fellers, Patrick M. Kleeman, and Anne M. Bronikowski 295-314
14 A Comparative Perspective on Reproductive Aging, Reproductive Cessation, Post-Reproductive Life, and Social Behavior--Peter T. Ellison and Mary Ann Ottinger 315-338
15 The Male-Female Health-Survival Paradox: A Comparative Perspective on Sex Differences in Aging and Mortality--Susan C. Alberts, Elizabeth A. Archie, Laurence R. Gesquiere, Jeanne Altmann, James W. Vaupel, and Kaare Christensen 339-364
16 Of Baboons and Men: Social Circumstances, Biology, and the Social Gradient in Health--Michael G. Marmot and Robert Sapolsky 365-388

What is skim?

The Chapter Skim search tool presents what we've algorithmically identified as the most significant single chunk of text within every page in the chapter. You may select key terms to highlight them within pages of each chapter.

Copyright Information

The National Academies Press (NAP) has partnered with Copyright Clearance Center's Marketplace service to offer you a variety of options for reusing NAP content. Through Marketplace, you may request permission to reprint NAP content in another publication, course pack, secure website, or other media. Marketplace allows you to instantly obtain permission, pay related fees, and print a license directly from the NAP website. The complete terms and conditions of your reuse license can be found in the license agreement that will be made available to you during the online order process. To request permission through Marketplace you are required to create an account by filling out a simple online form. The following list describes license reuses offered by the NAP through Marketplace:

  • Republish text, tables, figures, or images in print
  • Post on a secure Intranet/Extranet website
  • Use in a PowerPoint Presentation
  • Distribute via CD-ROM
  • Photocopy

Click here to obtain permission for the above reuses. If you have questions or comments concerning the Marketplace service, please contact:

Marketplace Support
International +1.978.646.2600
US Toll Free +1.855.239.3415

To request permission to distribute a PDF, please contact our Customer Service Department at

loading iconLoading stats for Sociality, Hierarchy, Health: Comparative Biodemography: A Collection of Papers...