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The link between recurrent childhood animal cruelty and recurrent interpersonal violence

By Caleb E. Trentham

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In the early 1960s, researchers began to examine the potential link between childhood animal cruelty and future interpersonal violence. Findings since then have been inconsistent in establishing a relationship between the two. This may be due to researchers failing to measure the recurrency of childhood animal abuse and the recurrency of later violent acts committed in adulthood. The current study, using data from 257 inmates at a medium-security prison in a Southern state, is a replication of research conducted by Tallichet and Hensley (2004) and Hensley, Tallichet, and Dutkiewicz (2009), which examined this recurrency issue. The only statistically significant predictor of recurrent adult interpersonal violence in this study was recurrent childhood animal cruelty. Inmates who engaged in recurrent childhood animal cruelty were more likely to commit recurrent adult interpersonal violence. Respondents’ race, education, and childhood residence were not significant predictors of the outcome variable.


Marcy Wilhelm-South

Purdue University

Date 2016
Pages 37
Publisher University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Department Dept. of Criminal Justice and Legal Assistant Studies
Degree Master of Science in Criminal Justice
Language English
University The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal cruelty
  2. Animal roles
  3. Animal welfare
  4. open access
  5. peer-reviewed
  6. Violence
  1. open access
  2. peer-reviewed