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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 188677 Find in a Library
Title: Animal Abuse and Youth Violence
Author(s): Frank R. Ascione
Date Published: September 2001
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: Juvenile Justice Clearinghouse/NCJRS
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Washington, DC 20531
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America

Juvenile Justice Clearinghouse/NCJRS
P.O. Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: HTML|PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This report describes psychiatric, psychological, and criminal research linking animal abuse to violence perpetrated by juveniles and adults, with emphasis on the prevalence of cruelty to animals by children and adolescents and on the role of animal abuse as a possible symptom of conduct disorder.
Abstract: The analysis also examines the motivations and etiology underlying the maltreatment of animals. Results revealed that the prevalence of reported cruelty to animals was much higher among children referred to mental health clinics than among non-referred children, although the reliance on caretakers’ reports could be problematic. Research also indicated that animal abuse may be characteristic of the developmental histories of between one in four and nearly two in three violent adult offenders. A typology of juvenile animal abusers that would mirror that for juvenile firesetters would include exploratory and curious animal abuse, pathological animal abuse, and delinquent animal abuse. Factors in children’s lives that have been associated with increased levels of animal abuse range from negative but relatively normative experiences such as corporal punishment to potentially more devastating circumstances, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, and adult domestic assault. Policies and programs to address these issues involve reporting, assessment, and treatment of children involved in animal abuse, as well as enhanced professional training. The analysis concluded that although violence was multidimensional and multidetermined, animal abuse had received insufficient attention as a sentinel behavior that could help identify youth at risk for perpetrating interpersonal violence and youth who had themselves been victimized. Figures, photographs, and 88 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency factors
Index Term(s): Aggression; Cruelty to animals; Juvenile delinquency prediction; Mental disorders; Problem behavior; Violence causes
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