Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

Summer 2016


Maternal characteristics and their relationship with infant outcomes have been investigated in many species, including primates. However, most research has typically focused on select primate groups such as rhesus and Japanese macaques. Studies suggest that maternal rank can influence the offspring’s social behavior, its future rank, and even its chances of survival in the environment. Therefore, the goal of this study was to investigate the relationship between maternal rank and the social behaviors of a group of infant green monkeys (Chlorocebus sabaeus) living in Barbados. Using naturalistic observations and focal sampling techniques, four mother- infant pairs, living in a freeranging social group were observed over the course of three weeks. Each mother-infant pair was observed for a total of five hours, and behaviors related to infant affiliation, aggression, stress, and solitary behavior were collected. Maternal rank was determined by food displacement tasks, and the mothers were classified as either high or low ranking. Results revealed that infants of low ranking mothers exhibited more stress than infants of high ranking mothers. These results are congruent with those reported in other studies, and further suggest that even at a few weeks of age, maternal rank is associated with stress in infants. The long-term implications of these results will be discussed.