Risk factors and remediation of self-injurious and self-abuse behavior in Rhesus Macaques

Ina Rommeck, Kristen Anderson, Allison Heagerty, Ashley Cameron, Brenda Mccowan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Considered signs of decreased welfare - abnormal behaviors such as self-injury and self-abuse among nonhuman primates housed in the laboratory - may put into question the validity and reliability of scientific research using these animals as models. Providing environmental enrichment decreases the incidence of some undesirable behaviors but is often unsuccessful at ameliorating the most severe types of abnormal behaviors. To prevent such behaviors from developing, it is important to identify risk factors that provide insight into the causes of certain abnormal behaviors. This study confirmed previous research identifying nursery rearing, single housing, and time spent in single housing as important risk factors. Results also indicate that the number of cage relocations affects the development of these behaviors. In addition, this study presents new data on comorbidity of several abnormal behaviors and discusses possible reasons for these patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-72
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)


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