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Examining Demographic and Situational Factors on Animal Cruelty Motivations

NCJ Number
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology Volume: 55 Issue: 3 Dated: May 2011 Pages: 492-502
Christopher Hensley; Suzanne E. Tallichet; Erik L. Dutkiewicz
Date Published
May 2011
11 pages
This study explored the effect of demographic and situational factors on offenders motivations for committing acts of animal cruelty.
Because of the limited number of studies that have examined the motives for childhood animal cruelty, researchers continue to suggest that further systematic study is needed. In a replication of the Hensley and Tallichet study and based on survey data from 180 inmates at 1 medium- and 1 maximum-security prison in a southern U.S. State, the present study seeks to further develop this understanding by examining the impact of demographic and situational factors on a range of animal cruelty motivations. Of the 180 inmates, 103 (57 percent) committed acts of animal cruelty. Logistic regression analyses revealed that respondents who committed childhood animal cruelty out of anger were less likely to cover up their behavior and to be upset by their actions but were more likely to have repeated it. Those who committed animal cruelty to shock others were more likely to reside in urban areas and to have done it alone. Furthermore, respondents who committed animal cruelty for sexual reasons were more likely to have covered up their actions and to have engaged in it repeatedly. (Published Abstract)