Motherless mothers revisited: Rhesus maternal behavior and rearing history
Classic studies have demonstrated that isolation- and peer-rearing in infancy can result in overt deficits in maternal behavior in rhesus monkeys, although nonmother-reared monkeys may become adequate caretakers if allowed experience with infants. Maternal styles in normally-reared mothers have been reported to vary widely. In the present study, the range of maternal proficiency of nonabusive, nonrejecting nonmother-reared mothers was examined. The behavior of mother-reared, peer-reared, and isolate-reared multiparous mothers was observed and compared for the first six months following parturition. Both peer-reared and isolate-reared mothers exhibited differences in maternal behavior from mother-reared mothers. Inasmuch as variations in maternal behavior may impact on the infant, investigators should be aware of the rearing histories of females used as breeders in the laboratory.
Key WordsMaternal behavior Macaca mulatta Isolation rearing Peer rearing
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