Maternal Care (maternal + care)

Distribution by Scientific Domains


Selected Abstracts


Naturally Occurring Differences in Maternal Care are Associated with the Expression of Oxytocin and Vasopressin (V1a) Receptors: Gender Differences

JOURNAL OF NEUROENDOCRINOLOGY, Issue 5 2002
D. D. Francis
Abstract Variations in maternal care have been associated with long-term changes in neurochemistry and behaviour in adult rats. Rats receiving high levels of licking and grooming as pups are less fearful and more maternal than rats receiving low levels of maternal licking and grooming. Central pathways for oxytocin and vasopressin have been implicated in the neurobiology of anxiety and social behaviours. We assessed whether variations in maternal care were associated with differences in oxytocin receptors (OTR) or vasopressin (V1a) receptors in the brains of adult offspring. In the central nucleus of the amygdala and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, OTR binding was increased in adult females, but not adult males, that had received high levels of maternal licking and grooming as pups. Conversely, amygdala V1a receptor binding was increased in males, but not females, that had received high levels of maternal licking and grooming. These findings suggest that variations in maternal care may influence the expression of oxytocin and vasopressin receptors in a gender-specific manner. [source]


Maternal care affects the development of maternal behavior in inbred mice

DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOBIOLOGY, Issue 4 2009
Hirotaka Shoji
Abstract The present study investigated the effects of variations in maternal behavior on the development of maternal behavior of female offspring in BALB/c and CBA/Ca inbred mice. In Experiment 1, we conducted fostering within or between the two strains and observed the maternal behaviors of mothers and female offspring for 2 weeks postpartum. Although fostering changed the maternal behavior of mothers in both strains, CBA mothers generally showed greater frequency of nursing posture and pup licking than BALB mothers. BALB female offspring reared by CBA mothers showed more body licking than those reared by BALB mothers, whereas fostering did not affect the maternal behavior of CBA female offspring. In Experiment 2, we examined the maternal behavior of females of F1 hybrids derived from reciprocal crosses between the two strains to confirm the maternal effect demonstrated in Experiment 1. Female F1 hybrids from CBA mothers showed more arched-back nursing, body licking, and nest building than those from BALB mothers. These results suggested that maternal care affect the development of maternal behavior in inbred mice, though the contributions of genetic and prenatal factors cannot be ignored. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev. Psychobiol 51: 345,357, 2009. [source]


Maternal care in a neotropical jumping spider (Salticidae)

JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGY, Issue 3 2008
C. Vieira
Abstract Although female jumping spiders (Salticidae) often stay with their egg sacs, little is known about whether this behaviour is effective in improving offspring survival. Females of the jumping spider Psecas chapoda (Salticidae) typically stay above their egg sacs and under a plain silk cover, spun from edge to edge of bromeliad leaves. The objective of this paper is to test the hypothesis that the presence of the females above the egg sac increases egg survival. We experimentally manipulated females and silk cover in P. chapoda using three treatments: female and silk cover present (control), female removed and silk cover present and female and silk cover removed. The number and area of holes in the egg sac walls, which are likely to be damage caused by egg predators, were higher in the absence of spiders and spiders+silk cover than in controls. Additionally, the number of spiderlings and exuvia was lower in the absence of females and female+silk cover than in the control treatment. The number of important specialized predators of spider eggs (i.e. mantipids) that develop inside P. chapoda egg sacs did not differ among the treatments. To our knowledge, this is the first experimental study that effectively demonstrates maternal care in spiders of the family Salticidae. [source]


Maternal care affects the development of maternal behavior in inbred mice

DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOBIOLOGY, Issue 4 2009
Hirotaka Shoji
Abstract The present study investigated the effects of variations in maternal behavior on the development of maternal behavior of female offspring in BALB/c and CBA/Ca inbred mice. In Experiment 1, we conducted fostering within or between the two strains and observed the maternal behaviors of mothers and female offspring for 2 weeks postpartum. Although fostering changed the maternal behavior of mothers in both strains, CBA mothers generally showed greater frequency of nursing posture and pup licking than BALB mothers. BALB female offspring reared by CBA mothers showed more body licking than those reared by BALB mothers, whereas fostering did not affect the maternal behavior of CBA female offspring. In Experiment 2, we examined the maternal behavior of females of F1 hybrids derived from reciprocal crosses between the two strains to confirm the maternal effect demonstrated in Experiment 1. Female F1 hybrids from CBA mothers showed more arched-back nursing, body licking, and nest building than those from BALB mothers. These results suggested that maternal care affect the development of maternal behavior in inbred mice, though the contributions of genetic and prenatal factors cannot be ignored. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev. Psychobiol 51: 345,357, 2009. [source]


The influence of natural variations in maternal care on play fighting in the rat

DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOBIOLOGY, Issue 8 2008
Carine I. Parent
Abstract Naturally occurring variations in maternal care in the rat influence the sensitivity of offspring to stress in adulthood. The offspring of mothers that show lower levels of pup licking/grooming (i.e., low-LG mothers) demonstrate enhanced responses to stress and increased anxiety compared to those of high-LG mothers. Low-LG offspring are also more sensitive to the influence of environmental enrichment than high-LG offspring. This study examined play fighting in the juvenile offspring of high-LG and low-LG dams in a multiple-play partners housing environment. Male offspring from low-LG dams demonstrated a significantly higher frequency of pouncing, pinning and aggressive social grooming than did high-LG males and high-LG and low-LG females. Consistent with earlier reports, male pups engaged in more play fighting than did females and maternal care was associated with differences in play fighting but only in males. Lower levels of stimulation in the form of LG from the dam during perinatal development may thus increase sensitivity for the stimulating effects of play behavior in periadolescence, in part explaining the increased solicitation of play fighting through increased pouncing in the male offspring of the low-LG mothers. These findings identify a possible influence of variations in maternal care on play fighting and suggest that maternal care in the perinatal period influence social interactions during periadolescence. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol 50: 767,776, 2008 [source]


Maternally separated rats show deficits in maternal care in adulthood

DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOBIOLOGY, Issue 1 2001
Vedran Lovic
Abstract Although there is considerable research on the phenomenology, neuroendocrinology, neuroanatomy, and sensory control of maternal behavior, little is known about the influences of early postnatal and postweaning experiences on the development of maternal behavior. The purpose of this study was to assess how early life separation from the mother rat affects development of the offspring's juvenile and adult maternal behavior. From postnatal Days 1 to 17, 3 female rats within each litter were separated (SEP) from the mother and the rest of the litter for 5 hr daily while 3 of their sisters were not maternally separated (NSEP). On postnatal Day 21, all subjects were weaned and randomly assigned to one of three juvenile conditions. One female from both SEP and NSEP groups was either isolated (I), given a social conspecific (S), or given 1- to 4-day-old pups (P) for 5 consecutive days. Maternal behavior of SEP and NSEP animals was assessed and recorded on each of the 5 days. Once all animals reached adulthood, they were mated, gave birth, and were assessed for their maternal behavior. We found that the effects of maternal separation on juvenile maternal-like behaviors were minimal. On the other hand, maternal separation reduced adult maternal licking and crouching over pups. In addition, there was a significant interaction between postnatal and juvenile experience on maternal crouching in maternal animals. These results are discussed in terms of the variety of possible behavioral, endocrine, and neurochemical mechanisms that mediate the effects of early life experiences on adult maternal behavior. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Dev Psychobiol 39: 19,33, 2001 [source]


Comparison of the effects of early handling and early deprivation on maternal care in the rat

DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOBIOLOGY, Issue 4 2001
Christopher R. Pryce
Abstract It has been reported in the rat that postnatal manipulations can induce robust and persistent effects on offspring neurobiology and behavior, mediated in part via effects on maternal care. There have, however, been few studies of the effects of postnatal manipulations on maternal care. Here, we describe and compare the effects on maternal behavior on postnatal days 1,12 of two manipulations, early handling (EH, 15-min isolation per day) and early deprivation (ED, 4-hr isolation per day), relative to our normal postnatal husbandry procedure. Maternal behavior was measured at five time points across the dark phase of the reversed L:D cycle. EH yielded an increase in arched-back nursing across several time points but did not affect any other behavior. ED stimulated a bout of maternal behavior such that licking and arched-back nursing were increased at the time of dam,litter reunion, although not at any other time point. Neither EH nor ED affected weaning weight significantly. Importantly, within-treatment variation was high relative to these between-treatment effects. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Dev Psychobiol 38: 239,251, 2001 [source]


Perceived quality of maternal care in childhood and structure and function of mothers' brain

DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE, Issue 4 2010
Pilyoung Kim
Animal studies indicate that early maternal care has long-term effects on brain areas related to social attachment and parenting, whereas neglectful mothering is linked with heightened stress reactivity in the hippocampus across the lifespan. The present study explores the possibility, using magnetic resonance imaging, that perceived quality of maternal care in childhood is associated with brain structure and functional responses to salient infant stimuli among human mothers in the first postpartum month. Mothers who reported higher maternal care in childhood showed larger grey matter volumes in the superior and middle frontal gyri, orbital gyrus, superior temporal gyrus and fusiform gyrus. In response to infant cries, these mothers exhibited higher activations in the middle frontal gyrus, superior temporal gyrus and fusiform gyrus, whereas mothers reporting lower maternal care showed increased hippocampal activations. These findings suggest that maternal care in childhood may be associated with anatomy and functions in brain regions implicated in appropriate responsivity to infant stimuli in human mothers. [source]


Natal Attraction in Adult Female Baboons (Papio cynocephalus ursinus) in the Moremi Reserve, Botswana

ETHOLOGY, Issue 8 2003
Joan B. Silk
Mammalian females are strongly attracted to infants and interact regularly with them. Female baboons make persistent attempts to touch, nuzzle, smell and inspect other females' infants, but do not hold them for long periods, carry them, or provide other kinds of care for them. Mothers generally tolerate these interactions, but never initiate them. The function of these brief alloparental interactions is not well understood. Infant handling might be a form of reproductive competition if females' interest in infants causes distress to mothers or harm to their infants. Alternatively, infant handling might be the product of selection for appropriate maternal care if females who are highly responsive to infants are the most successful mothers. We test several predictions derived from these hypotheses with data collected in a free-ranging group of baboons (Papio cynocephalus ursinus) in the Moremi Reserve of Botswana. Infants were most attractive when they were very young. Mothers of young infants were approached by other adult females on average once every 6 min, and other females attempted to handle their infants approximately once every 9 min. By the time infants were a year old, their mothers were being approached only once every 30 min and infants were being handled only once every 5 h. Females were more strongly attracted to other females' infants when they had young infants of their own, and their interest in other females' infants declined as their own infants matured. Females seemed to be equally attracted to all infants, but had greater access to offspring of their relatives and subordinate females. Females nearly always grunted as they handled infants. As in other contexts grunts are a reliable predictive signal that non-aggressive behavior will follow, the use of grunts before handling suggests that these interactions were not a form of deliberate harassment. [source]


Assessing the Semelparity Hypothesis: Egg-guarding and Fecundity in the Malaysian Treehopper Pyrgauchenia tristaniopsis

ETHOLOGY, Issue 10 2002
Ulrich E. Stegmann
According to the semelparity hypothesis, iteroparous insects should provide either no maternal care or less care than related semelparous species. We present field data on reproductive output and maternal care in the Southeast Asian treehopper Pyrgauchenia tristaniopsis (Mt. Kinabalu, Borneo) relevant to a preliminary assessment of the hypothesis. In a mark-recapture experiment, more females than expected under semelparity were found to have oviposited a second clutch (37%). Female longevity was a of 75 d. Both these estimates were highly conservative. Oviposition was successive resulting in a of 46 eggs per clutch. Females provided care for eggs only, occasionally scraping their legs along the sides of the clutch apparently attempting to deter Brachygrammatella sp. egg parasitoids (Trichogrammatidae). Females straddled their clutch for a of 27 d, i.e. until 8 d after the beginning of first instar hatching. First instars hatched successively over a period of 11 d. When a female deserted her clutch, it contained about 37% yet unhatched eggs. Egg-guarding effectively reduced egg mortality: the earlier a female was experimentally removed from her clutch the higher the egg mortality. Displacement experiments demonstrated that egg-guarding is a behaviour actively maintained despite disturbances and specifically directed towards the egg clutch but not to the feeding site. We interpret our findings as being in accordance with the weaker claim of the semelparity hypothesis, i.e. the iteroparous P. tristaniopsis provided less maternal care than semelparous membracid species. Continued female feeding is discussed as a mechanism to display some level of care despite iteroparity. [source]


SOCIALITY IN THERIDIID SPIDERS: REPEATED ORIGINS OF AN EVOLUTIONARY DEAD END

EVOLUTION, Issue 11 2006
Ingi Agnarsson
Abstract Evolutionary ,dead ends' result from traits that are selectively advantageous in the short term but ultimately result in lowered diversification rates of lineages. In spiders, 23 species scattered across eight families share a social system in which individuals live in colonies and cooperate in nest maintenance, prey capture, and brood care. Most of these species are inbred and have highly female-biased sex ratios. Here we show that in Theridiidae this social system originated eight to nine times independently among 11 to 12 species for a remarkable 18 to 19 origins across spiders. In Theridiidae, the origins cluster significantly in one clade marked by a possible preadaptation: extended maternal care. In most derivations, sociality is limited to isolated species: social species are sister to social species only thrice. To examine whether sociality in spiders represents an evolutionary dead end, we develop a test that compares the observed phylogenetic isolation of social species to the simulated evolution of social and non-social clades under equal diversification rates, and find that sociality in Theridiidae is significantly isolated. Because social clades are not in general smaller than their nonsocial sister clades, the spindly phylogenetic pattern,many tiny replicate social clades,may be explained by extinction rapid enough that a nonsocial sister group does not have time to diversify while the social lineage remains extant. In this case, this repeated origin and extinction of sociality suggests a conflict between the short-term benefits and long-term costs of inbred sociality. Although benefits of group living may initially outweigh costs of inbreeding (hence the replicate origins), in the long run the subdivision of the populations in relatively small and highly inbred colony lineages may result in higher extinction, thus an evolutionary dead end. [source]


Exposure to child care, parenting style and attachment security

INFANT AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT, Issue 1 2004
Yvonne M. Caldera
The present study addressed whether security of attachment is differentiated by quality of parenting and quantity of exposure to child care. Sixty mothers participated with their 14-month-old infants, who by the age of 12-months had received either exclusive maternal care, or varying degrees of exposure to child care. Levels of attachment security were assessed through maternal completion of the Attachment Q-Set(AQS); parenting quality was assessed through observations of mother,infant interactions during structured tasks. The scores that less sensitive mothers assign their toddlers is higher when their children are in child care for more hours per week; whereas the scores that more sensitive mothers assign their toddlers is lower when their children are in child care for more hours per week. These contrasting patterns suggest that the effects of parenting style on attachment security are moderated by quantity of exposure to child care. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Parental representations and subclinical changes in postpartum mood

INFANT MENTAL HEALTH JOURNAL, Issue 3 2007
Linda C. Mayes
Parents commonly experience a depressed mood in the immediate postpartum period, and a smaller proportion experience clinical postpartum depression. Among other factors, mental representations of early parenting experience appear to contribute to the development of major depressive disorder. The present study examines the role of mental representations of early parenting in subclinical fluctuations of parental mood in the peripartum period. Forty-one middle-class mothers and thirty-six fathers were interviewed on three occasions from late in their pregnancy until three months postpartum. Ratings of social support and past history of depression were obtained along with ratings of parents' perceptions of their early parenting experiences. Parents' perception of their own maternal care was significantly predictive of peripartum fluctuations in mood. Parents who perceived their own mothers as less caring showed more dysphoria at 8 months gestation, and at 2 weeks and 3 months postpartum. Perceptions of maternal protectiveness or fathers' caring and protectiveness were not related to prenatal or postpartum mood fluctuations. Both mothers and fathers who perceived their mothers as affectionless and/or controlling were more likely to experience fluctuations in mood in the peripartum period. A past history of one or more episodes of major depression and ratings of perceived social support were also associated with more peripartum mood fluctuation. These findings suggest that early parenting experiences set the threshold for how vulnerable parents are in the peripartum period to the depressive costs of engaging with a new infant. [source]


Why is there discordant diversity in sengi (Mammalia: Afrotheria: Macroscelidea) taxonomy and ecology?

AFRICAN JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY, Issue 1 2009
Galen B. Rathbun
Abstract The seventeen species of sengis or elephant-shrews form a well-defined clade of mammals endemic to Africa that occupy the extremes of terrestrial habitats, from coastal deserts to montane forests. Because of their isolation on Africa soon after the break-up of Gondwanaland, theoretically sengis initially evolved with little competition from other placental radiations. Their life history features include myrmecophagy, saltatorial gaits, no or limited use of nests, social monogamy, small litters of precocial young and absentee maternal care of neonates. These traits together are unique to the Macroscelidea and represent a wedding of features usually associated with either small antelopes or anteaters. Combined, these features define an adaptive syndrome that presumably has been relatively immune to competition from contemporary mammals, partially due to phylogenetic inertia. Yet paradoxically, the syndrome is well suited to a wide range of terrestrial habitats, resulting in low taxonomic diversity. Because of their unusual phylogeny and low species diversity, conservation interest is high for those sengis with relatively low densities in fragmented forests. Résumé Les 17 espèces de sengis (musaraignes éléphants) forment un clade bien déterminé de mammifères endémiques d'Afrique, qui occupe des habitats terrestres extrêmes allant de déserts côtiers à des forêts de montagne. En raison de leur isolement sur le continent africain très vite après la scission du Gondwana, les sengis ont théoriquement évolué au départ sans qu'il existe beaucoup de compétition avec les radiations d'autres placentaires. Les caractéristiques de leur histoire incluent de la myrmécophagie, des déplacements par bonds, un usage de nids limité, voire inexistant, la monogamie sociale, de petites portées de jeunes précoces et l'inexistence de soins maternels pour les nouveau-nés. Toutes ces caractéristiques sont uniques pour les Macroscélidés et représentent un regroupement de caractéristiques d'habitude associées à de petites antilopes ou à des fourmiliers. Combinées, ces caractéristiques définissent un syndrome d'adaptation qui, sans doute, fut relativement protégé de toute compétition avec des mammifères contemporains, à cause, en partie, de l'inertie phylogénétique. Mais, paradoxalement, ce syndrome est bien adaptéà une vaste gamme d'habitats terrestres, ce qui n'entraîne donc qu'une faible diversité taxonomique. En raison de leur phylogenèse inhabituelle et de la faible diversité entre ces espèces, l'intérêt de la conservation est considérable pour ces sengis dont la densité, dans des forêts fragmentées, est relativement faible. [source]


Hypocretin-1 Dose-Dependently Modulates Maternal Behaviour in Mice

JOURNAL OF NEUROENDOCRINOLOGY, Issue 8 2006
K. L. D'Anna
Increases in neuronal activity of hypocretin (HCRT), a peptide involved in arousal, and in HCRT-1 receptor mRNA expression have recently been identified in association with lactation. HCRT is released within brain regions regulating maternal behaviour and it is possible that increased HCRT neurotransmission during lactation supports maternal care. The present study examined for the first time the behavioural effects of HCRT on lactating mice. At intermediate doses, intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injections of HCRT-1 (0.06 and 0.1 µg) elevated levels of licking and grooming of pups (but not self-grooming) and number of nursing bouts without affecting other behaviours. At the highest dose, HCRT-1 (0.3 µg, i.c.v) delayed latency to nurse, decreased nursing, increased time off nest, and decreased maternal aggression. Intraperitoneal injections of the HCRT-1 receptor antagonist, SB-334867, exhibited a general trend towards increasing time spent low-arched back nursing (P = 0.053) and decreasing licking and grooming of pups while high-arched back nursing (P = 0.052). This suggests that the endogenous release of HCRT, working independently or dependently with other neuromodulators, may be necessary for full maternal behaviour expression. Possible sites of HCRT action in enhancing and impairing maternal care were identified via examinations of c,Fos immunoreactivity in association with i.c.v. HCRT injections. Together, these finding support the idea of HCRT modulating maternal behaviour, with intermediate levels (0.06 and 0.1 µg) supporting (even augmenting) some behaviours, but with levels that are too high (0.3 µg HCRT, i.c.v.), maternal behaviour and aggression are suppressed. [source]


Naturally Occurring Differences in Maternal Care are Associated with the Expression of Oxytocin and Vasopressin (V1a) Receptors: Gender Differences

JOURNAL OF NEUROENDOCRINOLOGY, Issue 5 2002
D. D. Francis
Abstract Variations in maternal care have been associated with long-term changes in neurochemistry and behaviour in adult rats. Rats receiving high levels of licking and grooming as pups are less fearful and more maternal than rats receiving low levels of maternal licking and grooming. Central pathways for oxytocin and vasopressin have been implicated in the neurobiology of anxiety and social behaviours. We assessed whether variations in maternal care were associated with differences in oxytocin receptors (OTR) or vasopressin (V1a) receptors in the brains of adult offspring. In the central nucleus of the amygdala and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, OTR binding was increased in adult females, but not adult males, that had received high levels of maternal licking and grooming as pups. Conversely, amygdala V1a receptor binding was increased in males, but not females, that had received high levels of maternal licking and grooming. These findings suggest that variations in maternal care may influence the expression of oxytocin and vasopressin receptors in a gender-specific manner. [source]


Variations in Maternal Behaviour are Associated with Differences in Oxytocin Receptor Levels in the Rat

JOURNAL OF NEUROENDOCRINOLOGY, Issue 12 2000
D. D. Francis
Abstract Female Long-Evans rats exhibit stable individual differences in maternal behaviours such as pup licking/grooming and arched-back nursing posture (LG-ABN). These variations in maternal behaviour are accompanied by differences in lactation-induced increases in oxytocin receptor levels in brain regions known to mediate the expression of maternal care in this species (i.e. the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, the medial preoptic area and the lateral septum). Oxytocin receptor levels in the central nucleus of the amygdala were significantly higher in high compared to low LG-ABN females regardless of reproductive status. These findings suggest that individual differences in maternal behaviour may be directly related to variations in oxytocin receptor expression. [source]


A Mouse Model of Prenatal Ethanol Exposure Using a Voluntary Drinking Paradigm

ALCOHOLISM, Issue 12 2003
Andrea M. Allan
Background: The incidence of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders is estimated to be as high as 1 in 100 births. Efforts to better understand the basis of prenatal ethanol-induced impairments in brain functioning, and the mechanisms by which ethanol produces these defects, will rely on the use of animal models of fetal alcohol exposure (FAE). Methods: Using a saccharin-sweetened alcohol solution, we developed a free-choice, moderate alcohol access model of prenatal alcohol exposure. Stable drinking of a saccharin solution (0.066%) was established in female mice. Ethanol then was added to the saccharin in increasing concentrations (2%, 5%, 10% w/v) every 2 days. Water was always available, and mice consumed standard pellet chow. Control mice drank saccharin solution without ethanol. After a stable baseline of ethanol consumption (14 g/kg/day) was obtained, females were impregnated. Ethanol consumption continued throughout pregnancy and then was decreased to 0% in a step-wise fashion over a period of 6 days after pups were delivered. Characterization of the model included measurements of maternal drinking patterns, blood alcohol levels, food consumption, litter size, pup weight, pup retrieval times for the dams, and effects of FAE on performance in fear-conditioned learning and novelty exploration. Results: Maternal food consumption, maternal care, and litter size and number were all found to be similar for the alcohol-exposed and saccharin control animals. FAE did not alter locomotor activity in an open field but did increase the time spent inspecting a novel object introduced into the open field. FAE mice displayed reduced contextual fear when trained using a delay fear conditioning procedure. Conclusions: The mouse model should be a useful tool in testing hypotheses about the neural mechanisms underlying the learning deficits present in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Moreover, a mouse prenatal ethanol model should increase the opportunity to use the power of genetically defined and genetically altered mouse populations. [source]


Maternal care in a neotropical jumping spider (Salticidae)

JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGY, Issue 3 2008
C. Vieira
Abstract Although female jumping spiders (Salticidae) often stay with their egg sacs, little is known about whether this behaviour is effective in improving offspring survival. Females of the jumping spider Psecas chapoda (Salticidae) typically stay above their egg sacs and under a plain silk cover, spun from edge to edge of bromeliad leaves. The objective of this paper is to test the hypothesis that the presence of the females above the egg sac increases egg survival. We experimentally manipulated females and silk cover in P. chapoda using three treatments: female and silk cover present (control), female removed and silk cover present and female and silk cover removed. The number and area of holes in the egg sac walls, which are likely to be damage caused by egg predators, were higher in the absence of spiders and spiders+silk cover than in controls. Additionally, the number of spiderlings and exuvia was lower in the absence of females and female+silk cover than in the control treatment. The number of important specialized predators of spider eggs (i.e. mantipids) that develop inside P. chapoda egg sacs did not differ among the treatments. To our knowledge, this is the first experimental study that effectively demonstrates maternal care in spiders of the family Salticidae. [source]


Behavioral problems and parenting style among Taiwanese children with autism and their siblings

PSYCHIATRY AND CLINICAL NEUROSCIENCES, Issue 1 2010
Susan Shur-Fen Gau md
Aims:, The purpose of the present study was to investigate the behavioral problems and parenting style among children with autism and their siblings in an ethnic Chinese population. Methods:, A total of 151 children with DSM-IV autistic disorder, aged 3,12, 134 siblings without autism, and 113 normally developing controls were recruited. Both parents reported their parenting styles and psychological status and mothers also reported children's behavioral problems. Results:, Children with autism had significantly more severe behavioral problems and obtained less affection and more overprotection and authoritarian controlling from their parents than the other two groups. Compared to the controls, unaffected siblings showed some behavioral problems, and obtained less maternal care. Withdrawal and attention, social, and thought problems were the most associated behavioral syndromes to distinguish children with autism from those without. Conclusions:, In addition to children with autism, who have a wide range of behavioral problems and impaired parent,child interactions, their siblings may be at risk for such problems. [source]


Neurodevelopmental sequelae of postnatal maternal care in rodents: clinical and research implications of molecular insights

THE JOURNAL OF CHILD PSYCHOLOGY AND PSYCHIATRY AND ALLIED DISCIPLINES, Issue 3-4 2007
Arie Kaffman
Parental care plays an important role in the emotional and cognitive development of the offspring. Children who have been exposed to abuse or neglect are more likely to develop numerous psychopathologies, while good parent,infant bonding is associated with improved resiliency to stress. Similar observations have also been reported in non-human primates and rodents, suggesting that at least some neurodevelopmental aspects of parent,offspring interactions are conserved among mammals and could therefore be studied in animals. We present data to suggest that frequency of licking and grooming provided by the dam during a critical period in development plays an important role in modifying neurodevelopment. These findings are examined in the broader context in which exposure to other sensory modalities such as vision or hearing during a specific period in development shapes brain development with functional consequences that persist into adulthood. We also discuss recent rodent work showing that increased frequency of licking and grooming provided by the dam during the first week of life is associated with changes in DNA methylation of promoter elements that control expression of these genes and behavior. The stability of DNA methylation in postmitotic cells provides a possible molecular scaffold by which changes in gene expression and behavioral traits induced by postnatal maternal care are maintained throughout life. Finally, the relevance of findings reported in rodents to those noted in non-human primates and humans are assessed and the research and clinical implications of these observations for future work are explored. [source]


Changes in yearling rhesus monkeys' relationships with their mothers after sibling birth

AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PRIMATOLOGY, Issue 4 2001
B.J. Devinney
Abstract The birth of a new sibling is believed to signify an abrupt and important transition in a young primate's relationship with its mother,one that is of potential importance from at least three theoretical perspectives: attachment theory, parent,offspring conflict theory, and dynamic assessment models. This study examines changes in relationships between free-ranging yearling rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) and their mothers concomitant with the birth of the mother's next infant, and tests predictions derived from each theoretical perspective. We observed 31 yearling rhesus on Cayo Santiago, Puerto Rico, 3 months before and 3 months after their siblings' births, using focal animal sampling methods. Changes in measures related to mother,yearling interaction and yearling distress were examined using repeated-measures analysis of variance. After sibling birth, mothers and yearlings abruptly reduced amounts of time in contact and increased amounts of time at a distance and out of sight of one another. Mothers and yearlings played approximately equal roles in bringing about decreases in proximity, and yearlings took the primary roles in bringing about decreases in contact. Rates of maternal aggression toward yearlings increased immediately and markedly after birth, possibly providing yearlings with early cues regarding subsequent decreased levels of maternal care. There were no marked increases in overt signs of yearling distress (e.g., vocalizations or tantrums) following the births. We conclude that yearlings generally acquiesced to reduced levels of care, responding behaviorally with increased independence and maturity. In this sense, our study provides preliminary support for dynamic assessment models over attachment theory and parent,offspring conflict theory models. Am. J. Primatol. 54:193,210, 2001. © 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]


Factors associated with postpartum depression and abusive behavior in mothers with infants

PSYCHIATRY AND CLINICAL NEUROSCIENCES, Issue 2 2010
Hyungin Choi md
Aims:, This study was conducted to examine factors associated with postpartum depression and abusive behavior in mothers with infants. Methods:, Data were collected from baby check-ups in Japan and 413 participants were included in an analysis using: (i) an Original Questionnaire; (ii) the Zung Self-rating Depression Scale (ZSDS); (iii) the Parental Bonding Instrument; and (iv) the Childcare Anxiety Scale (CAS). Covariance structural analyses were performed to examine interconnections among the Parental Bonding Instrument subscales, CAS subscales (,worry about parenting', ,burden of nursing time', ,difficulty of bonding'), ZSDS, ,fear of being abusive', and ,abusive behavior'. Results:, Of the 413 mothers, 14.5% showed higher than moderate levels of depression (ZSDS , 50). In covariance structural analyses, ,depression' was strongly influenced by ,worry about parenting' in all variances, but was not associated with ,abusive behavior'. ,Worry about parenting' also had a strong influence on ,fear of being abusive', but did not affect ,abusive behavior'. Low ,maternal care' had most influence on ,difficulty of bonding', and ,difficulty of bonding' only affected ,abusive behavior'. Conclusions:, The outcome of this study suggests that excessive worrying related to postpartum depression, ,fear of being abusive', and bonding difficulty are primary predictors of child abuse. Postpartum depression was not a predictor for abusive behavior after exclusion of the impact of bonding difficulties on abusive behavior. Therefore, the correlation between postpartum depression and abusive behavior identified in previous reports may have been influenced by bonding difficulties. [source]