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Animal cruelty and delinquency, criminality and youth violence

posted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Nicola Taylor, Tania SignalTania Signal
Nearly five decades ago, Margaret Mead (1964, p. 21) stated, "The worst thing that can happen to a ·child is for him (sic) to harm an animal and get away with it. Animal cruelty kills respect for life." In the intervening years the concept of the "Link" (i.e., that engagement in deliberate harm of animals is related in some manner to propensity for violence more generally) has been explored from a number of perspectives, including (but not limited to) criminology, psychology, sociology and social work (see HSUS, 2007). Cruelty to animals ( CTA) is recognized across these disciplines as being of major concern not only for the health and welfare of the animal victim (Benetato, Reisman, & McCobb, 2011; Taylor & Signal, 2008), but also for the psychological, physical and social wellbeing of the perpetrator (e.g., Currie, 2006) and for society generally (Hensley, Tallichet, & Dutkiewicz, 2009; McPhedran, 2009). Throughout this chapter, we bear all three groups in mind as we present an overview of the main research in the area of animal cruelty and its links to other delinquency and criminality.



Brewster MP; Reyes CL

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Carolina Academic Press

Place of Publication

Durham, North Carolina

Open Access

  • No

External Author Affiliations

Flinders University; School of Human, Health and Social Sciences (2013- ); TBA Research Institute;

Era Eligible

  • Yes

Number of Chapters