A study of firesetting and animal cruelty in children: family influences and adolescent outcomes

Escrito por Nuria Querol i Viñas.

These findings indicate that family variables increase the likelihood of childhood firesetting and animal cruelty and that these behaviors are related to adolescent delinquency.
J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2004 Jul;43(7):905-12. Related Articles, Links
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A study of firesetting and animal cruelty in children: family influences and adolescent outcomes.

Becker KD, Stuewig J, Herrera VM, McCloskey LA.

Program for Prevention Research, Arizona State University, USA.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate relationships among family risk factors, childhood firesetting and animal cruelty, and adolescent delinquency. METHOD: In 1990, mothers and children participating in a 10-year prospective study provided information about family risk factors and childhood problem behavior. Subsequent interviews with 86% of the sample in 1996 and 1998 and court record reviews in 2000 provided information about juvenile delinquency. RESULTS: Marital violence (odds ratio [OR] 2.4, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.1-5.4), paternal pet abuse (OR 2.4, CI = 1.0-5.6), and paternal drinking (r = 0.14) were related to firesetting, whereas exposure to marital violence (OR 2.3, CI = 1.0-5.1) and paternal (r = 0.19) and maternal harsh parenting (r = 0.14) were associated with animal cruelty. Regression analyses indicated that after controlling for conduct disorder, firesetters were 3.0 times (CI = 1.3-6.7) at risk of juvenile court referral and 3.3 times (CI = 1.4-7.6) at risk of arrest for a violent crime. Analysis of self-reports of delinquency replicated these results. Animal cruelty was related to self-reported violent crime (beta = 0.16). CONCLUSION: These findings indicate that family variables increase the likelihood of childhood firesetting and animal cruelty and that these behaviors are related to adolescent delinquency. Copyright 2004 American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

PMID: 15213592 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]