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An examination of the relations between human attachment, pet attachment, depression, and anxiety

By Aaron Christopher Quinn

Category Theses
Abstract

The roles of pets in families and their positive impact on mood have been reported by some studies (Becker, 1999; Garrity, Stallones, Marx, & Johnson, 1989). Additionally, some research has found that the more attached humans are to their pets, the more they feel emotionally supported (Stammbach & Turner, 1999) and the greater the decrease in depressive symptoms (Garrity et al., 1989). In the United States approximately 57.9% of all households own a pet. Thus, more homes have a pet than do not (American Veterinary Medical Association, 1992). Given the size of the American pet population, many people have exposure to pets' potentially positive impact on mood. This study had multiple purposes as it sought to examine pet attachment and demographic variables, explore the pet attachment-human attachment connection, investigate human attachment as it related to anxiety and depression, and to investigate the relation of pet attachment to anxiety and depression.;The findings from this study indicate that pet attachment is significantly different based upon the type of pet, role of the pet, amount of money participants paid for the pet, where the pet is housed, sex of the owner, and income of the owner. This study also found that attachment anxiety was significantly different based on participants' marital status, and attachment avoidance was significantly different based upon income. The findings also indicate that the constructs of attachment anxiety, attachment avoidance, anxiety, and depression do positively correlate with one another in most cases. Additionally, results indicate that in this study the pet attachment construct is not significantly correlated with attachment anxiety, attachment avoidance, anxiety, or depression.

Date 2005
Pages 129 p.
Publisher Iowa State University
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Tags
  1. Activity
  2. Animals in culture
  3. Anxiety
  4. Attachment
  5. Depression
  6. Pet ownership
  7. Pets and companion animals
  8. Psychotherapy