The effects of perinatal and postweaning photoperiods on subsequent affective behaviors were examined in adult Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus). Hamsters exposed perinatally to short days (8 hr light/day) exhibited mixed results for adult anxiety-like behaviors and increased some depressive-like behaviors compared with hamsters exposed to long days (16 hr light/day). Postweaning exposure to short days increased depressive- and anxiety-like behaviors compared with long days. Sex differences in affective behaviors were observed. These results suggest that anxiety-like behaviors are organized early in life and endure throughout adulthood, and anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors are modified by postweaning photoperiod. The persistence of photoperiod-induced affective behaviors in rodents supports the hypothesis that symptoms of human affective disorders may reflect ancestral adaptations to seasonal environments.