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Adult-perpetrated Animal Abuse: A Systematic Literature Review

Alleyne, Emma, Parfitt, Charlotte (2017) Adult-perpetrated Animal Abuse: A Systematic Literature Review. Trauma, Violence, and Abuse, 20 (3). pp. 344-357. ISSN 1524-8380. E-ISSN 1552-8324. (doi:10.1177/1524838017708785) (KAR id:61752)

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Adults perpetrate the majority of animal abuse incidents yet clinicians are left with very little evidence base to advance/enhance their practice. The purpose of this systematic review is to synthesize and evaluate the current literature on adult-perpetrated animal abuse and to identify the etiological factors related to this type of offending. Twenty-three studies met the specific inclusion criteria but most importantly, they examined the characteristics of adult perpetrators of animal abuse. The findings from this review were demarcated by sample type: (1) participants were the perpetrators of the animal abuse or held offence-supportive attitudes; and (2) participants were victims of intimate partner violence reporting incidents of animal abuse perpetrated by their partner. From the perpetrator perspective, there were key developmental (i.e., maladaptive parenting strategies), behavioral (such as varied offending behaviors), and psychological (e.g., callousness, empathy deficits) factors highlighted in the literature. Finally, in the context of intimate partner violence, findings indicated that perpetrators abuse animals to control, coerce, intimidate and/or manipulate their victims (this effect is moderated by the victims’ emotional attachment to their pet). This review inherently underlines treatment targets that could achieve greater clinical gains, but we also conclude that more empirical and theoretical work is needed in order to set an agenda that prioritizes future research and effective practice. Keywords: animal abuse, animal cruelty, adult perpetrators, offending behavior, intimate partner violence

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/1524838017708785
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Emma Alleyne
Date Deposited: 17 May 2017 08:54 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 02:18 UTC
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