NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Stephen J. Suomi

NICHD

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Institutional Affiliation: NICHD

NBER Working Papers and Publications

August 2020Intergenerational Effects of Early-Life Advantage: Lessons from a Primate Study
with Amanda M. Dettmer, James J. Heckman, Juan Pantano, Victor Ronda: w27737
This paper uses three decades of studies with Rhesus monkeys to investigate the intergenerational effects of early life advantage. Monkeys and their offspring were both randomly assigned to be reared together or apart from their mothers. We document significant intergenerational effects of maternal presence. We also estimate, for the first time, the intergenerational complementarity of early life advantage, where the intergenerational effects of maternal rearing are only present for offspring that were mother-reared. This finding suggests that parenting is the primary mechanism driving the intergenerational effects. Our paper demonstrates how studies of primates can inform human development.
April 2012Primate Evidence on the Late Health Effects of Early Life Adversity
with Gabriella Conti, Christopher Hansman, James J. Heckman, Matthew F. X. Novak, Angela Ruggiero: w18002
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.

Published: G. Conti & C. Hansman & J. J. Heckman & M. F. X. Novak & A. Ruggiero & S. J. Suomi, 2012. "Primate evidence on the late health effects of early-life adversity," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol 109(23), pages 8866-8871.

 
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