Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Craig Kinsley

Second Advisor

Dr. Cindy Bukach

Third Advisor

Dr. Kelly Lambert


Reproductive experience induces changes in females. Parity-related differences in maternal treatment of offspring can induce enduring changes in offspring. The relationships between maternal experience, early social isolation, and development were explored in rodents in this experiment. Male rats were weaned from multiparous (MP) and primiparous (PP) mothers and placed into isolation or social housing for four weeks. They were then observed in a social-interaction test. Social behavior and neural oxytocin and vasopressin were assessed post-testing, while corticosterone levels were measured across the four weeks. Weaning was extremely stressful for all offspring. PP- and MP-raised pups exhibited differences in social behavior, and trends towards different hormonal and neural profiles. The isolation paradigm was examined in a multidimensional fashion, revealing novel and provocative associations. This study further clarified some of the many ways that offspring development may be altered.

Included in

Psychology Commons