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Investigating the relationship between assistance dogs and their owners with physical disabilities: Complex affection or simple attachment?

By Dawn Stewart

Category Theses
Abstract

This study explores the bond between persons with physical or perceptual disabilities an~d their Assistance Dogs. It was hypothesized that these relationships would be different from relationships between pet dogs and owners, and that the bonds may resemble attachment relationships. The project utilized three questionnaires. The IHuman- Animal Attachment Measure (HAAM) instrument was created for this thesis to gauge attachment on Proximity Seeking, Secure Base and Safe Haven components. The Lexington Attachment to Pets Scale (LAPS) and the Relationship Questionnaire (RQ) were comparison measures. 162 participants reporting no disability, mobility disability or perceptual disability responded. Analysis consisted of reliability tests, factor analyses and multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) across the groups. Results demonstrated statistically significant differences between pet owners and Assistance Dog owners on attachment as measured by the HAAM, but not on the LAPS or RQ. Findings generally supported the hypotheses within the limitations of the study.

Pages 174
ISBN/ISSN 9780494239988
Publisher Simon Fraser University (Canada)
Degree M.A.
URL http://summit.sfu.ca/item/2305
Language English
University Simon Fraser University
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Tags
  1. Animal roles
  2. Assistance animals
  3. Attachment
  4. Disabilities
  5. Dogs
  6. Human-animal bond
  7. Mammals
  8. Psychotherapy
  9. Service animals