Studies suggest that adoptees are at risk for a number of psychopathological behaviors. To understand the etiology of this risk, 150 socially housed rhesus macaques were studied, including 107 infants reared with their biological mothers and 43 infants reared with unrelated adoptive mothers. Mother-infant behaviors were recorded across the first 6 months of life. Analyses were performed using a hierarchical linear mixed model. All reported results were tested at p<0.05. Adopted infants were observed on average to approach and leave their mothers more frequently, explore the environment and locomote longer, exhibit more anxiety-like behavior, spend less time being held to their mother's breast, and were rejected by their mothers more when compared to nonadopted infants, indicating they are more likely responsible for maintaining the relationship. They also direct and receive more noncontact aggression on average to other social group members, and showed evidence of higher anxiety exhibiting high levels of anxiety-like self-directed behavior when compared to nonadopted infants. Also, results indicate that adopted infants have significantly lower levels of the CSF serotonin metabolites 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid when compared to nonadopted infants.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Psychology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Bogh, Rachel Ann, "Comparison of Adoptive vs. Biological Mother-Infant Relationships in Nonhuman Primates" (2010). Theses and Dissertations. 2553.
adoption, rhesus macaques, primates, mother-infant relationship, serotonin, 5-HIAA, CSF, temperament, attachment, psychopathology