Kinship, association, and social relationships in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta)

Authors

  • Dr. Irwin S. Bernstein,

    Corresponding author
    1. Departments of Psychology and Zoology, University of Georgia, Athens
    2. Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center of Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia
    • Department of Psychology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602
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  • Peter G. Judge,

    1. Departments of Psychology and Zoology, University of Georgia, Athens
    2. Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center of Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia
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  • Thomas E. Ruehlmann

    1. Departments of Psychology and Zoology, University of Georgia, Athens
    2. Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center of Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia
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Abstract

Data on social interactions with matrilineal kin were collected from two groups of rhesus monkeys for 6 years. All behavioral states, including time within one meter of another, involved kin more often than would be expected by chance. Significant associations were also found between kinship and the frequencies of various forms of agonistic as well as affiliative acts. Frequency of social interaction, however, was not a simple function of time in proximity. Although animals spent more time with kin than nonkin they had more aggressive interactions with kin. Moreover, aggression was biased toward the more serious forms of expression in interactions with kin. Time spent in association was neither predictive of the rate of aggressive interaction nor reduced by high rates of aggressive interaction. Rather than association time influencing rates of interaction, association time may be the consequence of a history of aggressive and affiliative exchanges. Preferential association and high rates of aggressive interaction with kin may be possible due to the existence of compensating social mechanisms nullifying the negative influence of specific aggressive encounters. © 1993 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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