Abstract # 2470 Event # 79:

Scheduled for Friday, June 20, 2008 04:00 PM-04:10 PM: Session 8 (Meeting Room 1GHI) Oral Presentation


PARENTAL CARE INFLUENCES ON PUBERTAL TIMING IN FEMALE WIED’S BLACK TUFTED-EAR MARMOSET (CALLITHRIX KUHLII)

S. A. Matthews1,2 and J. A. French1,2,3
1Department of Psychology, UNOmaha, Omaha, NE 68182-0274, USA, 2Callitrichid Research Center, UNOmaha, Omaha, NE 68182, USA, 3Department of Biology, UNOmaha, Omaha, NE, 68182-0040, USA
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     Early social environments are known to play a large role in mediating trade-offs among growth, maintenance, and reproduction. In humans, the quality and quantity of early parent-daughter interactions predict pubertal timing in daughters. We examined the relationship between baseline hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity, and parental care in marmosets (N=6). Parental care measures included maternal and paternal retrievals, attempted retrievals, rejections, grooming, and food sharing with female infants for the first two months of life, and parental carrying during the first two weeks of life. Daughters who received higher rates of paternal rejection had higher baseline cortisol and earlier pubertal timing [Pearson r(4)=-0.88, p<0.05 and r(4)=-0.97,p<0.01, respectively]. However, the relationship between pubertal timing and paternal rejections was not significantly mediated by baseline HPA axis activity. Previously our lab demonstrated that early maternal carrying accounted for a significant portion of variance in pubertal timing for daughters. Here we found that the correlation between maternal carrying and pubertal timing approached significance [r(4)=-0.76, p=0.08]. Furthermore, paternal rejections accounted for a significant amount of variance in pubertal timing, above and beyond maternal carrying [FD(1,3)=29.19, p<0.05]. It appears that the quality of parental care is a relevant environmental feature for pubertal timing in marmoset daughters. Supported by NSF (00-91030) and NICHD (HD 42882).