Abstract # 6151 Poster # 95:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 18, 2015 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (Cascade AJBCD) Poster Presentation


THE MANAGEMENT OF SELF-INJURIOUS BEHAVIOR IN A LABORATORY HOUSED RHESUS MACAQUE USING A MULTI-COMPONENT INTERVENTION PACKAGE AND PAROXETINE

A. N. Rehrig
University of Rochester, 601 Elmwood Avenue Box 674, Rochester, New York 14620, USA
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     Primates in captivity sometimes develop stereopathies including self-injurious behavior (SIB). Interventions for SIB in primates are often implemented without understanding function of the behavior or what environmental variables influence its expression. In humans, applied behavior analysis is utilized to identify function and design successful function based interventions. This technology is beginning to show promise in non-humans as well. The participant in this case was a rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) with a history of self-biting and wounding. To identify function of his SIB, staff interviews, observations and a functional behavior assessment were conducted. SIB was hypothesized to be multiply maintained by social contingencies and automatic reinforcement. A multicomponent intervention which included environmental modifications, skills training and differential reinforcement decreased rates of self-biting, yet self-wounding persisted. Following a severe wounding event, treatment with paroxetine was implemented. Though self-biting continued to occur at a decreased rate, self-wounding was ameliorated following paroxetine treatment. The pharmacological approach provided an effective method to manage self-wounding which was likely maintained by automatic reinforcement while self-biting, likely maintained by social contingencies, continued to be reduced through behavioral techniques. Though we were able to hypothesize the maintaining reinforcers of SIB in this case, a functional analysis (FA), in which social variables are manipulated to identify function, could have pinpointed function more clearly. Modifying FA procedures to assess SIB in laboratory primates warrants further investigation.