Abstract # 176:

Scheduled for Friday, August 18, 2006 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 17 (Regency West 1/3 ) Poster Presentation

Mothering Styles of Differentially Reared Rhesus Macaque Mothers (Macaca mulatta)

B. J. Kelly1 and M. A. Novak1,2
1Neuroscience and Behavior Graduate Program, Tobin Hall, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, USA, 2Psychology Department, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
     Mother monkeys reared in social isolation often reject or abuse their first infant, but successfully rear subsequent infants. However, females reared without mothers, but with exposure to peers, are usually successful at rearing their first infant. We do not know whether there is a difference between the maternal styles of mother reared and surrogate-peer reared females. We examined mother-infant interactions of primiparous mothers from two rearing conditions. Modified frequency scoring was conducted over a five-month period for surrogate-peer reared (n=5) and mother reared (n=3) mothers. Repeated measures ANOVAs were conducted with behavior (contact, no-contact, retrieval, reject, and restrain) as within subjects factors and mother-type as the between subjects factor. There were no statistical differences for either contact (F(1,6)=0.58, p>.05) or no-contact (F(1,6)=1.96, p>.05) between mother type across the five-month period. However, surrogate-peer reared mothers appear to be marginally more variable in contact behavior during the first month (F(1,6)=4.56, p<.08; Msurrogate=16.56, SD ±2.15; Mmother=17.00 SD±0.55). Surrogate-peer reared mothers retrieve infants more than mother reared mothers (F(1,6)=10.53, p<.025), but do not restrain or reject infants at significantly different rates (F(1,6)=.123, p>.05; F(1,6)=.095, p>.05 respectively). These data suggest that, overall, differentially reared mothers interact with infants similarly (following month one), but lack of a mother may result in higher levels of mother-initiated contact as indicated by retrieval.