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Author Notes:

Corresponding author: Stacy S. Drury: s drury@tulane.edu; Andrea Gonzalez: gonzal74@gmail.com

The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIMH, NICHD or the National Institutes of Health.

The authors report no conflict of interests.


Research Funding:

Funding support was provided by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (AG), and the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (AG), R01 MH 101533 (SSD) and Tulane University Oliver Fund (SSD) . NIH grants NIMH P50 MH 078105 and NICHD HD077623 (MMS)

Support is also provided by the Office of Research Infrastructure Programs/OD P51OD11132 (MMS) (Yerkes National Primate Research Center – YNPRC – Base grant). The YNPRC is fully accredited by the Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Care, International.


  • Maltreatment
  • Cross-species
  • development
  • HPA axis
  • epigenetics
  • neurobiology

When mothering goes awry: Challenges and opportunities for utilizing evidence across rodent, nonhuman primate and human studies to better define the biological consequences of negative early caregiving


Journal Title:

Hormones and Behavior


Volume 77


, Pages 182-192

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


This article is part of a Special Issue "Parental Care". Across mammalian species, mothers shape socio-emotional development and serve as essential external regulators of infant physiology, brain development, behavior patterns, and emotional regulation. Caregiving quality, consistency and predictability shape the infant's underlying neurobiological processes. Although the requirements for "optimal" caregiving differ across species, the negative long-term consequences of the absence of needed caregiving (e.g. neglect) or the presence of harmful/aversive caregiving (e.g. physical abuse), are translatable across species. Recognizing the significant potential of cross species comparisons in terms of defining underlying mechanisms, effective translation requires consideration of the evolutionary, ecological, and fundamental biological and developmental differences between and among species. This review provides both an overview of several success stories of cross-species translations in relation to negative caregiving and a template for future studies seeking to most effectively define the underlying biological processes and advance research dedicated to mitigating the lasting negative health consequences of child maltreatment.

Copyright information:

© 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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