To avoid escalation of conflicts and to promote group cohesion male chimpanzees reduce aggressive interactions in times of social instability. Image: Anna Preis
Social insecurity causes stress - life short science news

A new study found that social insecurity increases stress in chimpanzees, and that the amount of urinary cortisol (a stress hormone) did not correlate with hierarchy in the group.

Also, during times of social insecurity, like observed in intense male-male competition, aggression rates were lower, probably to avoid injuries and improve group cohesion.

This study shows that, unlike previously thought, dominant and recessive members of a group have similar stress levels caused by instable social structure, and that proper conflict management strategies improve the wellbeing of the group.

Read the full story: Max-Planck-Gesellschaft – Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Scientific publication: Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution