Childhood cruelty to animals is a symptom of conduct disorder that has been linked to the perpetration of violence in later life. Research has identified several factors associated with its etiology, including social factors. However, no cross-cultural studies on this phenomenon have been reported. This study investigated childhood cruelty to animals in Japan, Australia and Malaysia. Parents of 1,358 children between the ages of 5 and 13 years completed the Children’s Attitudes and Behaviours towards Animals questionnaire (CABTA) which assesses Typical and Malicious Cruelty to animals. Analyses revealed no overall differences between children from these countries on either scale. However, younger boys were more likely to be cruel than younger girls in each country, and younger children in Australia and Japan were more likely to be cruel that older children in those countries. The findings are discussed in relation to previous research, and recommendations for future studies are suggested.
Published online: 16 May 2009
Field of Research
170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
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