Animal cruelty linked to empathy

A study presented at the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists’ Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry conference in Melbourne showed around 35% of teenagers had hurt an animal on purpose.

Around 270 adolescents were included in the study. Half of them had contact with youth justice services.

Some 61% of the community group and 67% of the youth justice group said they had never hurt an animal on purpose. Surprisingly, callous-unemotional traits were not predictive of animal cruelty.

Study author