Animal Cruelty Motivations: Assessing Demographic and Situational Influences
Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Criminology Morehead State University, 114 Rader Hall, Morehead, Kentucky 40351, USA
Few studies have examined how animal cruelty is learned within a specific social context among incarcerated individuals. Using data from 261 inmates, this study specifically addressed how demographic characteristics and childhood experiences with animal abuse may have affected the recurrence and onset of childhood and adolescent cruelty as a learned behavior. Multiple regression analyses revealed that inmates who experienced animal cruelty at a younger age were more likely to demonstrate recurrent animal cruelty themselves. In addition, respondents who observed a friend abuse animals were more likely to hurt or kill animals more frequently. Finally, inmates who were younger when they first witnessed animal cruelty also hurt or killed animals at a younger age.
Key Words: animal cruelty age of animal cruelty onset recurrence of animal abuse
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, Vol. 49, No. 1, 37-47 (2005)
© 2005 SAGE Publications