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Psychol Rep. 2007 Dec;101(3 Pt 1):831-48.

Suicide among animals: a review of evidence.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, University of Cagliari Genneruxi Medical Center, Cagliari, Italy. apreti@tin.it

Abstract

Naturalists have not identified suicide in nonhuman species in field situations, despite intensive study of thousands of animal species. In this review, evidence on suicidal behavior among animals is analyzed to discover analogies with human suicidal behavior. Literature was retrieved by exploring Medline/PubMed and PsychINFO databases (1967-2007) and through manual literature searches. Keyword terms were "suicide or suicidal behavior" and "animal or animal behavior." Few empirical investigations have been carried out on this topic. Nevertheless, sparse evidence supports some resemblance between the self-endangering behavior observed in the animal kingdom, particularly in animals held in captivity or put under pressure by environmental challenges, and suicidal behavior among humans. Animal models have contributed to the study of both normal and pathological human behaviors: discovering some correlates of suicide among animals could be a valid contribution to the field.

PMID:
18232440
DOI:
10.2466/pr0.101.3.831-848
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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