Effects of ethanol consumption on maternal behavior in the female rat

Dana Mathews, Scott Jamison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Female rats consuming 30% ethanol (v/v) for 30 days prior to and during gestation, and during the post-partum period were tested for maternal behavior with either their own pups or pups provided by normal foster mothers. When tested with their own pups, ethanol consuming females displayed significant deficits in maternal behavior. However, when a second group of ethanol consuming females were tested with normal pups, the females displayed maternal behavior comparable to that of control females. These data suggest that gestational ethanol consumption per se does not produce a deficit in the ability to display maternal behavior. Possibly, due to ethanol related changes in the pup's own characteristics, they became a less attractive stimulus in eliciting the display of maternal behaviors from their mothers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)595-597
Number of pages3
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1982
Externally publishedYes


  • Ethanol consumption
  • Female rats
  • Maternal behavior
  • Prenatal drug effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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