Abstract # 43:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 19, 2008 05:00 PM-07:00 PM: Session 4 (Ball Rooms A and B) Poster Presentation


biological AND adoptive mother-infant RELATIONSHIPS ACROSS THE FIRST SIX MONTHS OF LIFE: MORE DYADIC CONFLICT, INFANT WITHDRAWAL, AND ANXIETY IN adoptive DYADS

R. A. Flygare1, K. N. Graham*1, M. L. Schwandt2, S. G. Lindell2, C. S. Barr2, S. J. Suomi3 and J. Higley1
1Brigham Young University, Department of Psychology, Provo, UT 84602, USA, 2NIH Animal Center, NIAAA, LCTS, Poolesville, MD 20837, 3NIH Animal Center, NICHD, LCE
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     When temperaments of mother and offspring are similar, there is what Thomas and Chess referred to as a goodness of fit. We studied 150 rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) mother-infant relationships, including 107 dyads having a biological mother and 43 dyads having an unrelated adoptive mother. Mother-infant behaviors were recorded across the first 6 months of life. Analyses were performed using mixed design repeated measures ANOVA [a=0.05]. Adopted infants were more likely receive rejections and to withdraw from, to approach and leave their mother, and to sit passively by themselves, indicating that they are more likely responsible for the relationship. They were also more likely to be involved in aggression and to receive grooming than were infants which were reared by their biological mother. They showed evidence of higher anxiety exhibiting high levels of anxiety-like self-directed behavior. Several behaviors showed a month by rearing interaction. The adopted infants received more noncontact aggression from their mothers starting in month 3 and continued to receive more aggression than infants reared by their biological mothers in months 5 and 6. They were rejected more often beginning with month 4. Finally, adopted infants’ levels of self-directed anxiety were higher beginning with month 3. Our results indicate that adoptive mother-infant dyads have more conflict, perhaps resulting from less congruent mother-infant temperaments.