Developmental links between cruelty to animals and human violence

Mark R. Dadds*, Cynthia M. Turner, John McAloon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Reviews evidence for the significance of childhood cruelty to animals as a predictor of later violence toward humans. Moves are underway in the United States (US) and Britain to encourage communication and cross-fertilisation between animal welfare and child protection and crime prevention services. Literature on healthy versus deviant child-pet interactions is reviewed, with particular regard to the prediction of later violence. Assessment and definitional issues are addressed. The discussion culminates with a summary of substantive findings and the identification of several research designs that are needed to clarify the potential of early identification and remediation of child cruelty to animals as a mental health promotion and violence prevention strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-382
Number of pages20
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2002
Externally publishedYes


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