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Gender-differences in social health concepts. A cross-sectional study on interpersonal stress, social support and companionship with dog: correlations to sleep-problems

By Siv Elin Skille

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Abstract

Background and overview: Social ties have profound effects on health and well-being, and men and women are found to differ in the concepts of it. Findings are however somewhat inconclusive on some aspects. This study contributes to existing knowledge about gender-differences in interpersonal stress, sleep-problems, social support, companionship with dog and correlations between these variables. As there are few studies on gender-differences in relation to companionship with dogs, this study contributes with some new knowledge. Method: The study used data from The Hordaland Health Study (HUSK). This study was conducted during 1997 to 1999, as a collaboration between the National Health Screening Service, the University of Bergen and local health services. The sample size is 4217 respondents aged from 40 to 44 years. Correlation analysis and logistic regression analysis were performed. Results: The results showed statistically significant, but low correlations of gender-differences. Women compared to men, reported a high degree of interpersonal stress, nocturnal sleep-problems, emotional support and security-feeling due to owning a companion-dog. Interpersonal stress was significantly correlated to nocturnal sleep-problems for both men and women, with women reporting a higher degree than men, although the effect was small. Logistic regression showed that the model on nocturnal sleep-problems for female dog-owners explained up to 14.7 % of the variance, which was the highest in the study. Significance and conclusions: Men and women differ in aspects of social ties, and interventions in health promotion must take this into consideration. Gender-differences can be explained by a combination of a fundamental need to belong, inherited adaptations and stress-theory.

Submitter

Mason N McLary

HABRI Central

Date 2012
Pages 85
Publisher University of Bergen
Location of Publication Bergen, Norway
Department Health Promotion and Development
Degree Health promotion and Health Psychology
URL http://hdl.handle.net/1956/6754
Language English
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Tags
  1. Animal-assisted therapies
  2. Companion
  3. Dogs
  4. Emotional support
  5. Gender
  6. Mammals
  7. sleep
  8. social support
  9. Stress