International Handbook on Aggression

McDonald, S. E. (2017). Animal maltreatment in households experiencing family violence. In J. L. Ireland, C. A. Ireland & P. Birch (Eds.), International handbook on aggression (pp. 183-193). London, UK: Routledge.


This chapter presents an overview of research on the link between animal abuse and human aggression in households experiencing family violence. Seminal and contemporary research in this area of scholarship is reviewed including: (1) adult-perpetrated animal maltreatment as a coercive tactic against intimate partners, (2) children’s exposure to IPV and concomitant animal aggression, (3) the role of co-occurring animal maltreatment and interparental violence exposure in the development and maintenance of childhood aggression, and (4) the intersection of child maltreatment, child-perpetrated animal cruelty, and sibling abuse. This chapter concludes with implications for clinical practice and research.