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A Natural Family System
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Code: DJ 3.2 (2) Gubernick
Price: $9.50
1 - I understand that this article is for my personal use only. 2 - Reproduction or systematic distribution of all or any part of this article without permission is prohibited. The volume discount to make copies of the articles for educational and training purposes is 20% off each article. Please contact us at or at 202-965-4400 to order at the volume rate. 3 - Access to the article will remain in effect for 24 hours and allows no more than one download of the article. 4 - If I have an ID and password used in this purchase, I will not provide it to anyone else.
David J. Gubernick, PhD

The effects of one relationship on functioning in other relationships is central to various family systems theories. An animal model of a mammalian family system is presented and research is reviewed on the effects of the pair bond on the male's behavior towards young. The family system of the California mouse, Peromyscus californicus, is unusual among mammals because males and females form long-term pair bonds, are strictly monogamous and males show extensive care of the young. Research on the mechanisms underlying the onset and maintenance of paternal behavior and the inhibition of infanticide is summarized. Most males do not become parental until after their young are born, at which time any infanticidal tendencies also are inhibited. For these males, the bond with the female is important for maintaining their parental behavior and inhibiting their infanticidal tendencies postpartum. In contrast, some males become parental before their young are born and in response to social/sexual experience (i.e., one day after copulation and cohabitation with their partner). These males remain parental throughout the female's pregnancy and even after their young are born and apparently are insensitive to disruptions in the pair bond because they remain parental postpartum even in the absence of their partner. The significance of such individual variation is discussed from an evolutionary perspective and preliminary data from a comparative analysis of individual differences in mechanisms of paternal behavior and the inhibition of infanticide are presented.

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