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Attachment style and pet bonds

By Cory Hutchinson

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Abstract The purpose of the present study is to examine the relation between a person's attachment style and their relationship with their pet. Attachment Theory suggests that how an individual attaches to one or both parents in childhood can become the working model for future adult relationships. Arguing that the human-animal relationship is an adult relationship and applying Attachment Theory to the human-pet relationship, this study begins this important work by determining if there is a correlation between adult attachment style and how humans tend to relate to companion animals. Data collection is currently underway; the study will ultimately have 400 undergraduate participants from Boise State University. Data were collected anonymously using the Qualtrics survey software program. The surveys used were the Lexington Attachment to Pet Scale, Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment, and the Childhood Pet Ownership Questionnaire. These questionnaires had been previously tested and were combined in a survey that took approximately 30 minutes to complete. Results will include an analysis of mother-child attachment as it relates to attachment to pets as well as father-child attachment as it relates to attachment to pets.

Stephanie Schaffner

Date April
Publisher Boise State University
Conference Title 2009 Undergraduate Conference
Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal roles
  2. Attachment behavior
  3. Companion
  4. Human-animal relationships
  5. Pets and companion animals
  6. Relationships