Taking It Out on the Dog

Psychological and Behavioral Correlates of Animal Abuse Proclivity

in Society & Animals
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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.

Taking It Out on the Dog

Psychological and Behavioral Correlates of Animal Abuse Proclivity

in Society & Animals

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