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Continuing bonds and psychosocial adjustment in pet loss

By Wendy Packman, Nigel P. Field, Betty J. Carmack, Rama Ronen

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Abstract

This study investigated continuing bonds (CB) expressions among bereaved pet owners and the relationship between CB expressions and psychosocial adjustment. The sample included 33 participants who had lost a dog or cat within the past year. Participants who responded to a differentiated set of 12 CB expressions reported a tendency to experience CB as more comforting than distressing, and the extent to which they endorsed each of the CB expressions was comparable to that found in a spousal loss sample, thus highlighting important similarities in pet loss to that shown in human loss in regard to CB. The CB comfort ratings also provided unique information beyond extent of CB endorsement in predicting psychosocial adjustment. The implications of the findings are discussed in the context of an attachment perspective on pet loss. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)

Publication Title Journal of Loss and Trauma
Volume 16
Issue 4
Pages 341-357
ISBN/ISSN 1532-50241532-5032
Publisher Taylor & Francis
DOI 10.1080/15325024.2011.572046
Author Address Packman, Wendy, Pacific Graduate School of Psychology, Palo Alto University 1791 Arastradero Road, Palo Alto, CA, US, 94304, wpackman@paloaltou.edu
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Tags
  1. Attachment behavior
  2. Human-animal interactions
  3. Interspecies interactions
  4. peer-reviewed
  5. Pet loss
  6. Pets and companion animals
  7. Psychosocial Development
  8. psychosocial issues
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  1. peer-reviewed