By Eleonora Gullone (auth.)
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Extra info for Animal Cruelty, Antisocial Behaviour, and Aggression: More than a Link
Other developing abilities include those of effortful control (Eisenberg, Champion, & Ma, 2004), perspective-taking (Selman, 1980), empathy (Zahn-Waxler, Radke-Yarrow, & King, 1979), and emotion processing (Schultz, Izard, & Bear, 2004). Of particular relevance, it has been found that attention-shifting strategies including, for example, ignoring frustrating stimuli, are associated with the ability to control anger at 42 months and with teacher-reported externalizing problems at age six (Gilliom, Shaw, Beck, Schonberg, & Lukon, 2002).
For example, an inhibited temperamental style influences behaviour such as avoidance of unfamiliar people, objects, and situations. In contrast, an uninhibited style influences spontaneous approach behaviours toward novel persons, objects, and situations (Schwartz, Wright, Shin, Kagan, & Rauch, 2003). Emotion regulation involves processes that enable us to be aware of our emotions as well as processes that enable us to monitor, evaluate and change our emotions in order to achieve our goals in a manner that is appropriate for the particular situation.
In their 2005 study, Hensley and Tallichet examined demographic and situational influences on motivations to abuse animals. Their sample comprised 261 inmates from both medium- and maximum-security prisons. Their results revealed that anger was a motivation reported by nearly half of the sample. Nearly one-third of the sample reported that they were cruel to animals for fun. The researchers argued that both motivations are emotional responses on opposite ends of one continuum. Inmates who were cruel to animals when alone were more likely to commit the acts out of anger.