The HABRI Foundation is calling for research proposals to investigate the health outcomes of pet ownership and/or animal-assisted activity or therapy, both for the people and the animals involved. To learn more, visit close

You are here: Home / Journal Articles / Attitudes of Young Adults toward Animals—The Case of High School Students in Belgium and The Netherlands / About

Attitudes of Young Adults toward Animals—The Case of High School Students in Belgium and The Netherlands

By Pim Martens, Camille Hansart, Bingtao Su

Category Journal Articles

The social context and culture in which individuals grow shapes their perspectives through life. Early on, children learn about animals through storybooks, animated movies, toys, and through interactions with pets and wildlife, and will slowly start to build beliefs around those experiences. Their attitudes towards animals will be influenced by a number of factors, including: sex, age, nationality/ethnicity, residence area, animal-related activities and hobbies, food habits, culture/religion education, and pet ownership. A case study of Dutch and Belgian high school students (aged 12–21) investigated the attitudes of young people towards animals. By using the Animal Attitude Scale (AAS) and the Animal Issue Scale (AIS) questionnaires, our study shows that levels of concern for animal welfare were distinctly higher among: female participants; those who ate little to no meat; Belgian students; pet owners; and those who had been to a zoo at least once. In general, students who reported having more contact with animals also had more positive attitudes towards animals. To understand younger generations and their attitudes toward animals is to understand how future generations will look towards and treat our fellow animals, with which we share the planet Earth.


Marcy Wilhelm-South

Purdue University

Date 2019
Publication Title Animals
Volume 9
Issue 3
Pages 12
Publisher MDPI
DOI 10.3390/ani9030088
Language English
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal welfare
  2. Attitudes about animals
  3. Belgium
  4. High schools
  5. Netherlands
  6. open access
  7. students
  8. Young Adult
  1. open access