Jump to content

Cinderella effect

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Cinderella is mistreated by her stepmother, illustration from 1865.

Cinderella effect is the name for a phenomenon found in psychology: Child abuse and mistreatment is more common in families with stepparents.

It is named after the fairy tale Cinderella, where a girl gets mistreated by her stepsisters and stepmother. Psychologists think this shows a bias towards kin. A person has fewer incentives to invest in a child that is not his or her direct offspring.

P.D. Scott first used the term Cinderella effect, in a study he did in 1973: He studied 29 cases of babies who were beaten to death in anger; he found that in 15 cases, the baby's stepfather was the killer.[1]


[change | change source]
  1. Daly & Wilson (1999), p. 33
  • Martin Daly and Margo Wilson (11 October 1999). The Truth about Cinderella, A Darwinian View of Parental Love. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-08029-2.