The HABRI Foundation is calling for research proposals to investigate the health outcomes of pet ownership and/or animal-assisted activity or therapy, both for the people and the animals involved. To learn more, visit https://habri.org/grants/funding-opportunities/ close

Support

Support Options

Report a problem

About you
About the problem
 
You are here: Home / Journal Articles / Behavioral and self-report measures influencing children's reported attachment to their dog / About

Behavioral and self-report measures influencing children's reported attachment to their dog

By N. J. Hall, JingWen Liu, D. Kertes, C. D. L. Wynne

View Resource (HTM)

Licensed under

Category Journal Articles
Abstract

Despite the prevalence of dogs as family pets and increased scientific interest in canine behavior, few studies have investigated characteristics of the child or dog that influence the child-dog relationship. In the present study, we explored how behavioral and some self-report measures influence a child's reported attachment to their dog, as assessed by the Lexington Attachment to Pets Scale (LAPS). We tested specifically whether children (n=99; mean age=10.25 years, SD=1.31) reported stronger attachment to dogs that were perceived as being more supportive (measured by a modified version of the Network of Relationships Inventory), that were more successful in following the child's pointing gesture in a standard two-object choice test, or that solicited more petting in a sociability assessment. In addition, we assessed whether children's attachment security to their parent and being responsible for the care of their dog influenced reported attachment to the dog. Overall, perceived support provided by the dog was highly predictive of all subscales of the LAPS. The dog's success in following the child's pointing gestures and lower rates of petting during the sociability assessment were associated with higher ratings on the General Attachment subscale of the LAPS, but not on the other subscales. Caring for the dog did not predict the child's reported attachment to the dog, but did predict the dog's behavior on the point-following task and petting during the sociability task. If the child cared for the dog, the dog was more likely to be successful on the pointing task and more likely to be petted. These results indicate a dyadic relationship in which the child's care for the dog is associated with the dog's behavior on the behavioral tasks, which in turn is related to the child's reported attachment to their dog. The direction of influence and nature of this dyad will be a fruitful area for future research.

Publication Title Anthrozoƶs
Volume 29
Issue 1
Pages 137-150
ISBN/ISSN 0892-7936
DOI 10.1080/08927936.2015.1088683
Language English
Author Address Department of Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA.clivewynne@gmail.com
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Hall, N. J.; Liu, JingWen; Kertes, D.; Wynne, C. D. L. (2017), "Behavioral and self-report measures influencing children's reported attachment to their dog," http://habricentral.org/resources/61048.

    BibTex | EndNote

Tags
  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animals
  3. Animal science
  4. Anthrozoology
  5. Behavioral research
  6. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  7. Canidae
  8. Canine
  9. Carnivores
  10. Characteristics
  11. Children
  12. Dogs
  13. Humans
  14. Incidence
  15. Mammals
  16. Men
  17. Pets and companion animals
  18. Primates
  19. Psychiatry and psychology
  20. Relationships
  21. Research
  22. Social psychology and social anthropology
  23. vertebrates
  24. Zoology