Maladaptive and Malfunctional Behaviors
The context in which abnormal behaviors occur can be divided into two categories, termed maladaptive and malfunctional:
Maladaptive behaviors refer to types of behaviors that inhibit an animal's ability to adjust to particular situations. These behaviors reflect a normal animal in an abnormal environment: The animal is simply responding as well as it can with functionally intact behavioral mechanisms to the captive environment; the perversities of its behavior reflect those of the environment. Maladaptive abnormal behaviors may nevertheless indicate a failure of behavior to regulate a stressor or properly correct a homeostatic imbalance, which over time could lead to altered physiology.
Malfunctional behaviors, in contrast, are the product of abnormal psychology, brain development, or neurochemistry induced by features of the captive environment.