Parent and child reports of animal cruelty and their correlations with parent and child reports of child delinquency

The purpose of this study was to determine whether child and parent reports of animal cruelty in children correlated with child- and parent-reported delinquency in these same children. A group of 3397 children (1778 boys and 1619 girls; age = 9 years) from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing sa...

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Published in:Psychology, crime & law
Main Author: Walters, Glenn D. (Author)
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
Published: 2018
In:Psychology, crime & law
Year: 2018, Volume: 24, Issue: 5, Pages: 479-488
Online Access: Volltext (Resolving-System)
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Summary:The purpose of this study was to determine whether child and parent reports of animal cruelty in children correlated with child- and parent-reported delinquency in these same children. A group of 3397 children (1778 boys and 1619 girls; age = 9 years) from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing sample [FFCW: Reichman, Teitler, Garfinkel, & McLanahan (2001). Fragile families: Sample and design. Children & Youth Services Review, 23, 303-326] served as participants in this study. The prevalence of animal cruelty as reported by the child (4.7%) and parent (3.0%) were both low and the zero-order correlation between the two estimates was non-significant, suggesting that they were measuring different constructs. A two-equation multiple regression analysis was conducted, controlling for child gender, domestic violence within the home, mother hitting/spanking, and father hitting/spanking. Findings indicated that parent-reported animal cruelty correlated significantly with child-reported delinquency, controlling for child reports of animal cruelty and the four control variables. Child-reported animal cruelty, however, failed to correlate with parent-reported delinquency, controlling for parental reports of animal cruelty and the four control variables. These results suggest that parental reports of animal cruelty may be more useful as indicators of delinquent involvement than child reports. Possible reasons for these findings are discussed.
ISSN:1477-2744
DOI:10.1080/1068316X.2016.1258472