Pregnant female rhesus monkeys were exposed to a 2-week period of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) to determine whether it would affect the early neuromotor development of their fetuses in a manner similar to that observed after psychological stressors. During the first month after birth, infants were tested on two occasions with a modification of the Brazelton Newborn Behavioral Assessment Scale. Infants derived from ACTH-treated pregnancies showed early impairments in motor coordination and muscle tonicity and shorter attention spans as compared to controls. In addition, on a temperament rating scale, infants from the ACTH condition were more irritable and difficult to console. These findings indicate that a delimited period of endocrine activation during pregnancy can have an adverse effect on infant neurobehavioral development, like that of prenatal stress.