IZA DP No. 6495: Primate Evidence on the Late Health Effects of Early Life Adversity
published in: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2012, 109(23): 8866-8871.
This paper exploits a unique ongoing experiment to analyze the effects of early rearing conditions on physical and mental health in a sample of rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta). We analyze the health records of 231 monkeys which were randomly allocated at birth across three rearing conditions: Mother Rearing, Peer Rearing, and Surrogate Peer Rearing. We show that the lack of a secure attachment relationship in the early years engendered by adverse rearing conditions has detrimental long-term effects on health which are not compensated by a normal social environment later in life.