Research on monkeys followed up from birth to young adulthood suggests that future drinking may be predicted by response to stress during infancy, according to a new study by investigators at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and the Swedish Medical Research Council (Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2000;24:644-650).
The study, led by J. Dee Higley, PhD, of the NIAAA, and Stephen Suomi, PhD, of the NICHD, involved 97 rhesus macaques that either remained with their mothers after birth or were reared with peers. During a stress test, cortisol levels of all the monkeys increased, although levels in the peer-raised monkeys were significantly higher than those in the mother-reared monkeys.
Stephenson J. Monkey Stressed, Monkey Drinks. JAMA. 2000;283(23):3060. doi:10.1001/jama.283.23.3060-JHA00004-4-1