Attitudes toward animals among Spanish primary school children

David Jose Menor-Campos*, Roxanne Hawkins, Joanne M. Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Adult attitudes toward animals have received extensive research attention. By contrast, despite the importance of child?animal interactions for children?s development and animal welfare, children?s attitudes toward animals have not been fully explored. The aim of this study was, therefore, to examine Spanish children?s attitudes toward animals. A 12-item scale, the Brief Attitudes Towards Animals scale for Children (BATAC), was designed and completed by 416 Spanish primary school children aged between 6 and 13 years. Analyses revealed that the attitude scale had very good internal consistency (Cronbach?s a = 0.75; Revelle?s omega = 0.75; Sijtsma?s glb = 0.84) and three factors labelled ?Compassion,? ?Friendship,? and ?Opinion on Ownership? explained 56.47% of the variance. The subscales were used in subsequent analyses alongside the total score. Demographic variables, such as age, school year group, ownership of a companion animal, and children?s beliefs about animal mind, were shown to be associated with children?s attitudes toward animals. Being older, in a higher school year, having a dog or a small mammal at home, and scoring animals higher on sentience capabilities were associated with higher pro-animal attitudes. Other pet types (i.e., cats, birds, reptiles or fish) and children?s gender were not associated with attitudes to animals. This study is the first to explore attitudes toward animals among Spanish primary school children, and it highlights attitudinal differences regarding animal species and child demographic variables.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)797-812
Number of pages16
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2019


  • Attitudes
  • Belief in animal mind
  • Children
  • Companion animals
  • Human?animal interaction
  • Spain


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