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Exploring the Age of Onset and Recurrence of Childhood Animal Cruelty: Can Animal Cruelty Be Learned From Witnessing Others Commit It?

NCJ Number
240086
Journal
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology Volume: 56 Issue: 4 Dated: June 2012 Pages: 614-626
Author(s)
Christopher Hensley; Suzanne E. Tallichet; Erik L. Dutkiewicz
Date Published
June 2012
Length
13 pages
Annotation
This study examined the specific social contexts in which animal cruelty may be learned.
Abstract
Despite recent research, few studies have examined the specific social contexts in which animal cruelty may be learned. Using data collected from 180 inmates at a medium- and maximum-security prison in a southern State, the authors seek to replicate findings from the Hensley and Tallichet study that examined the potential for the onset and recurrence of childhood animal cruelty to become a learned behavior, specifically in terms of demographic characteristics and childhood experiences with witnessing animal abuse. In the current study, those who were younger when they first witnessed animal cruelty initially hurt or killed animals themselves at a younger age. Respondents who had witnessed a family member hurt or kill animals reported engaging in recurrent animal cruelty and were older when they committed their first act of animal cruelty. Abstract published by arrangement with Sage Journals.