Although vandalism may represent costly and psychologically significant destructiveness (Goldstein, 1996), smashed windshields and graffitied walls do not feel pain or cry out when they are damaged. Animals, however, do express their distress when they have been abused, and their distress calls out for attention. This Bulletin has provided an overview of the underreported and understudied phenomenon of animal abuse in childhood and adolescence. Addressing cruelty to animals as a significant form of aggressive and antisocial behavior may add one more piece to the puzzle of understanding and preventing youth violence.

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Animal Abuse and Youth Violence Juvenile Justice Bulletin September 2001