Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Valerie James-Aldridge

Second Advisor

Dr. Gary Montgomery

Third Advisor

Dr. Amy Weimer


Maternal factors, e.g., quality and behavior were examined in order to determine if a relationship with enhanced infant social development exists. Gorilla mothers were each nursery reared and are full siblings, providing an unusual opportunity to examine the individual differences that may play a role in infant socialization. Observational data collected during three-time blocks by means of focal animal sampling were used to analyze social behaviors and identify initiators and receivers of contact behaviors, thereby determining a relationship between maternal care and infant sociability. Results indicated that mothers who provided successful maternal care produced more sociable offspring. Findings from this study have implications for primate social development and successful reproductive fitness.


Copyright 2009 Liza Veliz. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American