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Taking it out on the dog: psychological and behavioral correlates of animal abuse proclivity

By C. Parfitt, E. Alleyne

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There is a lack of research examining the criminogenic factors related to animal abuse perpetrated by adults, despite the high prevalence of this type of offending. A correlational study examining the factors related to two types of animal abuse proclivity was used. We found that childhood animal abuse, empathetic concern, and a proneness for human-directed aggression were significant correlates of direct forms of nonhuman animal abuse (i.e., the animal was perceived to be the provocateur). We also found that childhood animal abuse, personal distress (i.e., anxiety from interpersonal interactions), and empathetic concern were significant correlates of indirect forms of animal abuse (i.e., a person was the perceived provocateur, the animal an alternative outlet for aggression). These findings highlight targets for prevention and intervention programs and the importance of distinguishing between different forms of and motivations for animal abuse.

Publication Title Society & Animals
Volume 24
Issue 1
Pages 1-16
ISBN/ISSN 1063-1119
Language English
Author Address School of Psychology, Keynes College, University of Kent, Kent,
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Abnormal behavior
  2. Aggression
  3. Animals
  4. Animal welfare
  5. Canidae
  6. Canine
  7. Carnivores
  8. Conflict
  9. Crime
  10. Dogs
  11. Humans
  12. Mammals
  13. Men
  14. Non-communicable diseases and injuries
  15. pathology
  16. Pets and companion animals
  17. Primates
  18. Psychiatry and psychology
  19. risk factors
  20. Social psychology and social anthropology
  21. vertebrates
  22. Veterinary sciences
  23. Zoology