Family Groups (family + groups)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Life Sciences

Selected Abstracts

Adult Learning Experiences from an Aquarium Visit: The role of Social Interactions in Family Groups

Adriana Briseño-Garzón
Based on a larger empirical work,1 this paper reports on the nature and character of adult learning within a family group context while visiting the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre (Canada), and the longitudinal effects of such experience in the weeks following the visit. In this study a multiple or collective instrumental case study approach was employed to examine the learning experiences of the adult members of 13 family groups; this approach demonstrates that adults visiting the aquarium as part of a family group are active social learners and not merely facilitators of the experience for younger visitors or caregivers. Our outcomes also indicate that the adult members of the participant family groups learned in a multiplicity of domains including the cognitive, the social, and the affective, as a result of their visit to the Vancouver Aquarium. In addition, we discuss the longitudinal impacts of the aquarium visit and provide valuable insights as to the relevance of these experiences in visitors' everyday lives. [source]

Are multi family groups appropriate for patients with first episode psychosis?

A 5-year naturalistic follow-up study
Rossberg JI, Johannessen JO, Klungsoyr O, Opjordsmoen S, Evensen J, Fjell A, Haahr U, Joa I, Langeveld J, Larsen TK, Melle I, Rund BR, Simonsen E, ten Velden W, Vaglum P, Friis S, McGlashan T. Are multi family groups appropriate for patients with first episode psychosis? A 5-year naturalistic follow-up study. Objective:, To compare outcome over 5 years for patients who participated in multi family groups (MFGs) to those who refused or were not offered participation. Method:, Of 301 first episode psychotic patients aged 15,65 years, 147 participated in MFGs. Outcome was measured by drop-out rates, positive and negative syndrome scale (PANSS) symptom scores, and duration of psychotic episodes during the follow-up period. Results:, Multi family group participants had a significantly lower drop-out rates at 5-year follow-up than patients who did not participate. However, the MFG participants had significantly less improvement in PANSS positive and excitative symptoms and had significantly longer duration of psychotic symptoms during the follow-up period. Conclusion:, Multi family groups appear to increase the chance of retaining patients in a follow-up study, but adjustment of the programme may be necessary with first episode psychosis patients to meet their needs better. [source]

The concentrations of short-chain fatty acids and other microflora-associated characteristics in faeces from children with newly diagnosed Type 1 diabetes and control children and their family members

U. Samuelsson
Abstract Aims The gut flora is quantitatively the most important source of microbial stimulation and may provide a primary signal in the maturation of the immune system. We compared the microflora-associated characteristics (MACs) in 22 children with newly diagnosed diabetes, 27 healthy controls, and their family members to see if there were differences between the children and if there was a familial pattern. Methods The MACs were assessed by determining the concentrations of eight short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), mucin, urobilin, b-aspartylglycine, coprastanol and faecal tryptic activity (FTA). Results There were no statistically significant differences between the concentrations of SCFA in the diabetes and control children. Members of families with a diabetic child had a higher concentration of acetic acid (P < 0.02) and lower concentrations of several other SCFAs than control families (P < 0.05,0.02). The other MACs showed no differences between the children or between the two family groups. Conclusion In this pilot study we saw no differences in the MACs between children with diabetes and their controls. There were, however, some differences between the family members of diabetic children and controls that may indicate a familial pattern regarding the production of SCFAs by the gut flora. The role of the gut flora in relation to the risk of developing Type 1 diabetes needs to be analysed in larger and/or prospective studies. [source]

Foraging of lynxes in a managed boreal-alpine environment

ECOGRAPHY, Issue 3 2000
Peter Sunde
Foraging of Eurasian lynxes Lynx lynx was studied with telemetry and snow tracking in central Norway. In all habitats and at all seasons, medium-sized ungulates (roe deer Capreolus capreolus, reindeer Rangifer tarandus and domestic sheep Ovis aries) dominated the diet (81% of ingested biomass estimated from faeces). Mountain hares Lepus timidus and galliform birds comprised the remainder of the diet (15% and 3%, respectively). Lynxes with different life history status did not differ in prey choice, but adult males utilised carcasses of ungulate prey considerably less (16% of the edible parts) than did females with offspring (80%) and subadults (58%.). Forest habitats in lowlands and adjacent to cultivated fields were the most favourable foraging habitats (indexed as the prey encounter rate per km lynx track) primarily owing to the presence of roe deer. Two family groups tracked in winter killed 0.2 ungulate per day. The importance of agricultural land as a foraging habitat and the dominance of livestock in the diet in remoter areas indicate that the lynx has responded to agriculture and reindeer husbandry during the past century by switching from smaff game to ungulates. [source]

Spatial Association in a Highly Inbred Ungulate Population: Evidence of Fine-Scale Kin Recognition

ETHOLOGY, Issue 2 2008
Jorge Cassinello
We present the first evidence of fine-scale kin recognition, based on a continuous measure of relatedness, in ungulates. The spatial association between herdmates of a captive population of aoudad (Ammotragus lervia), where all the individuals are related, is analysed during resting time. Our goal was to estimate which factors influence individuals' associations. The study population is highly inbred, although it does not show serious deleterious effects caused by consanguinity. It comprises a single captive herd, reproducing freely and in good conditions for more than 10 yr. It emerges that kin, measured as the coefficient of relationship between two given herdmates, is the main factor determining the spatial association (e.g. average distance) of male,male and female,female dyads, as more-related individuals tend to rest closer to each other than less-related ones. As for male,female dyads, individuals of a similar age tend to stay closer. To rule out any familiarity confounding effects, individuals' cohabitation time in the herd was added as a random factor in the analyses. Concerning the type of dyad, mother,calf dyads are characterized by higher proximity than others, particularly during the suckling period, whereas males tend to stay closer to each other than females or male,female dyads, being also more kin-related. Female social rank does not influence spatial association between herdmates. These results are related to group composition of the species in the wild, which are characterized by intense mother,calf bonds and all-male groups that are probably kin-related. It is seen that adult male,female associations are not related to kinship, but to age similarity, which is in accord with the assumption that main family groups in the wild are formed by matrilineal lines, whereas males are the dispersing sex. [source]


EVOLUTION, Issue 4 2006
Benjamin B. Normark
Abstract The genetic systems of animals and plants are typically eumendelian. That is, an equal complement of autosomes is inherited from each of two parents, and at each locus, each parent's allele is equally likely to be expressed and equally likely to be transmitted. Genetic systems that violate any of these eumendelian symmetries are termed asymmetric and include parent-specific gene expression (PSGE), haplodiploidy, thelytoky, and related systems. Asymmetric genetic systems typically arise in lineages with close associations between kin (gregarious siblings, brooding, or viviparity). To date, different explanatory frameworks have been proposed to account for each of the different asymmetric genetic systems. Haig's kinship theory of genomic imprinting argues that PSGE arises when kinship asymmetries between interacting kin create conflicts between maternally and paternally derived alleles. Greater maternal than paternal relatedness within groups selects for more "abstemious" expression of maternally derived alleles and more "greedy" expression of paternally derived alleles. Here, I argue that this process may also underlie origins of haplodiploidy and many origins of thelytoky. The tendency for paternal alleles to be more "greedy" in maternal kin groups means that maternal-paternal conflict is not a zero-sum game: the maternal optimum will more closely correspond to the optimum for family groups and demes and for associated entities such as symbionts. Often in these circumstances, partial or complete suppression of paternal gene expression will evolve (haplodiploidy, thelytoky), or other features of the life cycle will evolve to minimize the conflict (monogamy, inbreeding). Maternally transmitted cytoplasmic elements and maternally imprinted nuclear alleles have a shared interest in minimizing agonistic interactions between female siblings and may cooperate to exclude the paternal genome. Eusociality is the most dramatic expression of the conflict-reducing effects of haplodiploidy, but its original and more widespread function may be suppression of intrafamilial cannibalism. In rare circumstances in which paternal gene products gain access to maternal physiology via a placenta, PSGE with greedy paternal gene expression can persist (e.g., in mammals). [source]

Kin recognition and cannibalism in a subsocial spider

T. Bilde
Evolution of cooperation and group living in spiders from subsocial family groups may be constrained by their cannibalistic nature. A tendency to avoid cannibalizing kin may facilitate tolerance among spiders and implies the ability to identify relatives. We investigated whether the subsocial spider Stegodyphus lineatus discriminates kin by recording cannibalism among juveniles in experiments during which amount of food and size difference among spiders in groups were varied. We hypothesized that family groups should be less cannibalistic than groups of mixed-parental origin. Further, we tested whether food-stress would influence cannibalism rates differently in kin and nonkin groups and the effect of relatedness on cannibalism within groups of spiders of variable size compared with those of homogenous size. In groups of six spiders, more spiders were cannibalized in nonsib groups than in sib groups under low food conditions. A tendency for nonkin biased cannibalism in starved spider pairs supported that kin recognition in S. lineatus is expressed when food is limited. Size variance of individuals within well-fed groups of siblings and unrelated spiders had no influence on cannibalism rates. Apparently, both hunger and high density are important promoters of cannibalism. In addition to inclusive fitness benefits, we suggest that an ability to avoid cannibalizing kin will favour the evolution of cooperation and group living in phylogenetically pre-adapted solitary species. [source]

Using systemic reflective practice to treat couples and families with alcohol problems

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Accessible summary ,,Alcohol services in the UK generally treat clients from an individual medical and psychiatric perspective. Carers, partners, children and other family members are infrequently actively involved in the clients' care process. ,,A reflective family-based approach was introduced in an attempt to improve treatment engagement with drinkers with relatives. Favourable findings from several self-reporting research and evaluation studies are provided and analysed. ,,The use of this intervention was found to be effective in facilitating change in drinking and relationships. Family members when involved in the care management proved to be influential in the behaviour change process. ,,Family group reflecting interventions should be used more extensively and involvement of partners and family members in care programmes should be promoted. Implications for the extended use of the intervention both in addiction settings and wider health and social care practice are discussed. Abstract In the UK, an adult with a drinking problem is generally treated from an individual perspective with minimal involvement of carers and relatives. In response to this gap in service provision, a systemic reflecting intervention was introduced to assist couples and families experiencing alcohol-related difficulties. The article documents the background and development of this initiative. Findings from evaluation and clinical outcome studies are reviewed and demonstrate how the use of the approach proved to be effective in facilitating positive change both in drinking and family behaviour. In conclusion, the paper explores the implications of how systemic reflective practice with family groups may be extended and be usefully used in wider addiction, diverse mental and general health-care settings. [source]

Dialogic inquiry in life science conversations of family groups in a museum

Doris Ash
This research illustrates the efficacy of a new approach for collecting and analyzing family conversational data at museums and other informal settings. This article offers a detailed examination of a small data set (three families) that informs a larger body of work that focuses on conversation as methodology. The dialogic content of this work centers on biological themes, specifically adaptation. The biological principle becomes visible when families talk about survival strategies such as breeding or protection from predators. These themes arise from both the family members and the museum exhibit. This study also analyzes the inquiry skills families use as they make sense of science content. I assume that children and adults offer different interest areas or expertise for dialogic negotiation and that family members use inquiry skills in dialogue to explore matters of importance. This analysis offers educators methodological tools for investigating families' scientific sense-making in informal settings. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 40: 138,162, 2003 [source]

Kinship and social structure of bobcats (Lynx rufus) inferred from microsatellite and radio-telemetry data

J. E. Jane
Abstract Kinship analysis using 12 microsatellites was compared with radio-telemetry data to examine the social structure of bobcats Lynx rufus in southern Texas. Genetically identified kinship relationships combined with capture data were used to reconstruct pedigrees. Three family groups were constructed from parent/offspring pairs identified from shared alleles. All parents identified by genetic analysis had established home ranges. Individuals with no distinct home ranges were not genetically observed to have offspring among the bobcats sampled. This suggests that establishing a home range is necessary for bobcats to breed. Of three identified male offspring and three identified female offspring, two female offspring were philopatric. These females became a part of the breeding population in their natal area. Among sibling pairs that included nine female and four male individuals, four females and one male were residents suggesting male-biased dispersal. [source]

Ecology of wildlife rabies in Europe

MAMMAL REVIEW, Issue 1 2006
ABSTRACT 1The number of wildlife rabies cases has increased in Europe in recent years. We review the epizootiology of wildlife rabies in Europe, paying special attention to recent changes to the situation of two important vector species: the red fox and the raccoon dog. Red fox Vulpes vulpes has been the main vector of rabies since 1945, but the number and proportion of raccoon dog Nyctereutes procyonoides cases has rapidly increased during the past few years, particularly in north-eastern Europe. 2The transmission rate (average number of susceptible animals infected by each rabid animal) is critical for rabies spread and is partly determined by population density. Both raccoon dogs and foxes live in pairs. Foxes also live in family groups. Pairs and groups share their territories. Home range size usually correlates negatively with population density. Fox home ranges are 50,1500 ha, those of raccoon dogs 150,700 ha. The threshold value for rabies spread among foxes is estimated to be 0.63 individuals/km2. Although fox density in eastern and northern Europe may be lower than this, the pooled density of foxes and raccoon dogs exceeds the threshold density. 3Animal movements, especially dispersal of young, pose a risk for rabies spread. Although the likelihood of an epizootic is highest where fox and raccoon dog densities are highest, rabies may spread fastest where population densities are lower, because dispersal distances tend to correlate negatively with population density. 4Oral vaccinations have been more effective in rabies control than culling foxes. Where two vector species exist, vaccination should be conducted twice a year, because most raccoon dogs disperse in autumn but some foxes do not disperse before mid- or late winter. 5New rabies models, based on two vector species and their interaction, and which take into account the hibernation period of raccoon dogs, are needed for north-eastern Europe. [source]

Primers and polymerase chain reaction conditions for DNA barcoding teleost fish based on the mitochondrial cytochrome b and nuclear rhodopsin genes

Abstract This report describes a set of 21 polymerase chain reaction primers and amplification conditions developed to barcode practically any teleost fish species according to their mitochondrial cytochrome b and nuclear rhodopsin gene sequences. The method was successfully tested in more than 200 marine fish species comprising the main Actinopterygii family groups. When used in phylogenetic analyses, its combination of two genes with different evolutionary rates serves to identify fish at the species level. We provide a flow diagram indicating our validated polymerase chain reaction amplification conditions for barcoding and species identification applications as well as population structure or haplotyping analyses, adaptable to high-throughput analyses. [source]

Isolation and characterization of polymorphic microsatellite markers in the white-winged chough (Corcorax melanorhamphos)

N. Beck
Abstract We have isolated and characterized seven polymorphic microsatellite loci in the white-winged chough (Corcorax melanorhamphos), a highly social, cooperatively breeding bird of Australian eucalypt woodlands. In analyses of 100 samples from 16 family groups, the number of alleles per locus ranged from four to 18, and observed heterozygosity ranged between 0.46 and 0.93. One locus appears to be sex-linked. The primers were also tested in apostlebirds (Struthidera cinerea), the only other species in the subfamily Corcoracinae. Five loci were successfully amplified and three were polymorphic. [source]


Summary. As a result of recent fieldwork undertaken at the archaeological site of Cerro de la Encina, our knowledge of the funerary ritual has increased considerably. The funerary record shows a significant concentration of wealth in burials corresponding to the family groups of the highest social status. Dramatic social differences can also be found in the internal organization of the settlement. The locations of burials within the settlement area, under the floors of dwellings, allow us to establish that the settlement space was closely related to the social identity of the families. The high number of burials with double and triple inhumations, in contrast to other Argaric necropolis, also stands out as an important feature of Cerro de la Encina, suggesting that familial relationships seem to be more marked here than at other Argaric sites. All these data are discussed in relation to the funerary ritual of the Argaric Culture. [source]

Prenatal RHD gene determination and dosage analysis by PCR: clinical evaluation

F.-Y. Chan
Abstract Background , Use of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for detection of the RHD gene can measure the RHD gene status for unborn babies at risk for hemolytic disease of the newborn (HDN). The occurrence of D gene variants has led to errors in prenatal typing. Previous reports have highlighted the danger of assigning a positive fetus as negative, resulting in intrauterine fetal deaths. Objective , To evaluate the effectiveness of a testing strategy whereby PCR was not only performed to determine the presence/absence of the RHD gene, but also used to assess the D gene copy number (zero, one or two RHD genes) in family studies for at risk pregnancies. Methods , Samples comprising maternal (57) and paternal (42) peripheral blood samples, amniotic fluid (64), and matching cord blood (64) were collected. Rhesus (Rh) serotyping was performed on all blood samples. For RHD genotyping, DNA was extracted from all samples except for 28 cord samples, where only serotyping was performed (total 199 DNA genotyping). RHD gene PCR amplified exon 4 and exon 7 regions of the RHD gene. The dosage of RHD gene was determined by comparing the intensity of the RHD gene to that of the RHCE gene. Results , A total of 197/199 samples showed concordance between exon 4 and exon 7 PCR results. Two discrepant results occurred in one family: the father carried one normal D gene and one D gene variant where PCR was tested to be positive using exon 4 but negative using exon 7. One of a pair of dizygotic twins inherited this abnormal D gene and was mildly affected by HDN. This was correctly identified antenatally and the pregnancy successfully managed. The concordance rate between serotypes and genotypes for 135 blood samples was 100%. Amongst the family groups, 8/14 heterozygous fathers transmitted the D gene and 26/26 homozygous fathers transmitted the D gene to the babies. The concordance rate between RHD genotypes from amniotic fluid and Rh D serotypes from cord blood was also 100%. Conclusion , The present study demonstrates the effectiveness of using PCR in a clinical setting. It verifies the importance of testing more than one region of the gene, and also the need for a testing strategy where both maternal and paternal testing for RHD gene dosages are performed. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

mtDNA from hair and nail clarifies the genetic relationship of the 15th century Qilakitsoq Inuit mummies

M. Thomas P. Gilbert
Abstract The 15th century Inuit mummies excavated at Qilakitsoq in Greenland in 1978 were exceptionally well preserved and represent the largest find of naturally mummified specimens from the Arctic. The estimated ages of the individuals, their distribution between two adjacent graves, the results of tissue typing, and incomplete STR results led researchers to conclude that the eight mummies formed two distinct family groups: A grandmother (I/5), two daughters (I/3, I/4), and their two children (I/1, I/2) in one grave, and two sisters (II/6, II/8) and a daughter (II/7) of one of them in the other. Using mtDNA from hair and nail, we have reanalyzed the mummies. The results allowed the unambiguous assignment of each of the mummies to one of three mtDNA haplogroups: A2b (I/5); A2a (I/2, I/3, II/6, II/8); A2a-311 (I/1, I/4, II/7), excluded some of the previous relations, and pointed to new ones. I/5 is not the grandmother/mother of the individuals in Grave I, and she is not maternally related to any of the seven other mummies; I/3 and I/4 are not sisters and II/7 is neither the daughter of II/6 nor of II/8. However, I/1 may be the child of either I/4 or II/7 and these two may be sisters. I/2 may be the son of I/3, who may be the daughter of either II/6 or II/8, and these two may be sisters. The observation of haplogroups A2a and A2b amongst the 550-year-old Inuit puts a lower limit on the age of the two lineages in Greenland. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Phenotypic approaches for understanding patterns of intracemetery biological variation

Christopher M. Stojanowski
Abstract This paper reviews studies of phenotypic inheritance and microevolutionary processes in archaeological populations using data on cranial and dental phenotypic variation, often referred to as paleogenetics or biodistance analysis. The estimation of biological distances between populations, or among individuals within populations, is one component of bioarchaeological research on past populations. In this overview, five approaches that focus on morphological variation within cemeteries are summarized: kinship and cemetery structure analysis, postmarital residence analysis, sample aggregate phenotypic variability, temporal microchronology, and age-structured phenotypic variation. Previous research, theoretical justifications, and methods are outlined for each topic. Case studies are presented that illustrate these theoretical and methodological bases, as well as demonstrate the kinds of inferences possible using these approaches. Kinship and cemetery structure analysis seeks to identify the members of family groups within larger cemeteries or determine whether cemeteries were kin-structured. Analysis of sex-specific phenotypic variation allows estimation of postmarital residence practices, which is important for understanding other aspects of prehistoric social organization. Analysis of aggregate phenotypic variability can be used to infer site formation processes or cemetery catchment area. The study of temporal microchronologies can be used to evaluate provisional archaeological chronologies or study microevolutionary processes such as adaptive selection or changing patterns of gene flow. Finally, age-structured phenotypic variation can be reflective of selection processes within populations or it can be used as a measure of morbidity, growth arrest, and early mortality within past populations. Use of phenotypic data as a genotypic proxy is theoretically sound, even at small scales of analysis. Yrbk Phys Anthropol 49:49,88, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Time course of vocal modulation during isolation in common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus)

Chieko Yamaguchi
Abstract Common marmosets vocalize phee calls as isolation calls, which seem to facilitate their reunion with family groups. To identify multiple acoustic properties with different time courses, we examined acoustic modulations of phees during different social contexts of isolation. Subject marmosets were totally isolated in one condition, were visually isolated and could exchange vocalizations in another condition, and were visually isolated and subsequently totally isolated in a third condition. We recorded 6,035 phees of 10 male,female marmoset pairs and conducted acoustic analysis. The marmosets frequently vocalized phees that were temporally elongated and louder during isolation, with varying time courses of these changes in acoustic parameters. The vocal rates and sound levels of the phees increased as soon as the marmosets saw their pair mates being taken away, and then gradually calmed down. The phee duration was longer in conditions during which there were no vocal responses from their pair mates. Louder vocalizations are conspicuous and seem to be effective for long-distance transmission, whereas shorter call duration during vocal exchanges might avoid possible vocal overlap between mates. Am. J. Primatol. 72:681,688, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Using behavior to determine immature life-stages in captive western gorillas

J.E. Hutchinson
Abstract Ontogenic development is divided into infant, juvenile, adolescent and adult life-stages. Although the developmental trajectory of an individual is a flexible entity, which differs within species, environment and sex, life-stage classifications are generally structured, age-based systems. This invariably leads to rigidity within a dynamic system and consequently hampers our understanding of primate life history strategies. We propose that life-stage classifications should be quantitative, flexible entities, which use a reliable measurement of development. Here, we provide a methodological example where placement into a life-stage is based upon behavioral variance between other similar-aged individuals. Behavioral data were collected from 12 male (3,11 years old) and 9 female (3,8 years old) captive immature western gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) housed in five family groups, using continuous focal sampling; 900,hr of data were collected over 131 days. Data were applied to four published life-stage classifications for mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei), which showed variable ability to determine life-stage in western gorillas. A new life-stage classification (Hutchinson & Fletcher) was proposed specifically for western gorillas, whereby multiple co-varying behavior provided a robust measure of linear development across immaturity. Each life-stage was found to be a distinct ontogenic phase and the classification discriminated life-stage with a high level of accuracy. Using the Hutchinson & Fletcher classification we provide evidence for disparity in developmental trajectories between the sexes from the juvenile period onwards. To expand the understanding of primate life histories, we propose that flexible classifications should be used to enable comparison of allometric life history traits within and between species, from birth onwards. Am. J. Primatol. 72:492,501, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Reconciliation in captive cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus), a cooperative breeding primate

Laura Peñate
Abstract Reconciliation has been demonstrated in all primate species in which the phenomenon has been studied. However, reconciliation has been studied in only two species of callitrichids, and conclusions remain controversial. The first aim of this study has been to find out whether captive cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus) reconcile, since this is the first such study on this species. We examined 227 conflicts in three family groups (N=19). Instances in which individuals remained together in t=0 (29; 12.8%) were not analyzed. The cotton-top tamarins showed heightened affiliation between opponents in the postconflict periods (PC) compared with matched control (MC) periods (39.88±5.12% and 3.18±1.27%, respectively), with a corrected conciliatory tendency of 37.17±5.37%, and a "time window" that included the first 180,sec of the PC period. Former opponents were the most likely recipient of affiliative behaviors during the PC periods: 39.83±4.26% vs. 11.36±5.33% during MC periods. The proportion of attracted pairs (47.13±6.25%) was significantly higher than those of dispersed pairs for male,male conflicts (3.79±1.79), but not for male,female conflicts (27.31±9.32 and 4.82±2.9, respectively). In cooperative-breeding species, specific sex-class dyads might differ in how they resolve conflicts. Am. J. Primatol. 71:895,900, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

The evolution of social inbreeding mating systems in spiders: limited male mating dispersal and lack of pre-copulatory inbreeding avoidance in a subsocial predecessor

Cooperation and group living are extremely rare in spiders and only few species are known to be permanently social. Inbreeding is a key characteristic of social spiders, resulting in high degrees of within-colony relatedness that may foster kin-selected benefits of cooperation. Accordingly, philopatry and regular inbreeding are suggested to play a major role in the repeated independent origins of sociality in spiders. We conducted field observations and laboratory experiments to investigate the mating system of the subsocial spider Stegodyphus tentoriicola. The species is suggested to resemble the ,missing link' in the transition from subsociality to permanent sociality in Stegodyphus spiders because its social period is prolonged in comparison to other subsocial species. Individuals in our two study populations were spatially clustered around maternal nests, indicating that clusters consist of family groups as found in the subsocial congener Stegodyphus lineatus. Male mating dispersal was limited and we found no obvious pre-copulatory inbreeding avoidance, suggesting a high likelihood of mating with close kin. Rates of polygamy were low, a pattern ensuring high relatedness within broods. In combination with ecological constraints, such as high costs of dispersal, our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the extended social period in S. tentoriicola is accompanied with adaptations that facilitate the transition towards permanent sociality. © 2009 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2009, 98, 851,859. [source]

The impact of childhood chronic neurological diseases on Greek families

M. Tzoufi
Abstract Background, Although the impact of childhood chronic neurological diseases (CND) on patients' psychological well-being has been increasingly addressed, little attention has been given to the influence of these conditions on family members and family functioning. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the family characteristics of Greek children suffering from CND. Methods, A total of 52 parents of children with CND were studied by using the Family Environmental Scale (FES), the Family Burden Scale, the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28) and a questionnaire on the knowledge of their children's illness, their coping strategies and their satisfaction with our services. During the same period, 30 parents of hospitalized children for common paediatric illnesses completed the FES. In both groups social and demographic features were registered. Appropriate statistical processes were applied to compare the above-mentioned family groups and to study the differences between the families of children with epilepsy (n = 37) and the families of children with other CND (n = 15). Results, Parents of children with CND discuss their problems less freely, talk less openly around home, score highly on FES subscale of Conflict and, pay more attention to ethical and religious issues and values. Furthermore, the families of children with other CND were more burdened regarding the financial state and the health status of other family members in comparison with families of children with epilepsy. In addition, families of children with epilepsy were more involved in social and recreational activities, appeared to be more knowledgeable on the availability of help in critical conditions and were more satisfied with rendered medical services, in comparison with families of children with other CND. Conclusion, These preliminary findings provide important information concerning the special characteristics of Greek families of children suffering from CND, which may prove especially helpful in organizing specific support services. [source]