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The psychological Impact of Companion Animals for Older Adults who Reside Alone

By Tess Reed

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Companion animals have been identified as improving the physical and emotional health of some older adults (Collis & McNicholas, 1998). This qualitative study explored the psychological impact of owning a cat or a dog for persons aged 65 or older who resided alone. Nine participants, two male and seven female, were recruited through local media advertisements in the Guildford area to participate in a semi-structured interview about their relationship with their pet. Following transcription the semi-structured interviews were analysed using thematic analysis (Aronson, 1994). Four major themes emerged with participants reporting their pets provided satisfaction that impacted on several areas including companionship, social support, affectionate bonds and as a combat against loneliness.


Mason N McLary

HABRI Central

Date 2003
Pages 49
Publisher Edith Cowan University
Location of Publication Joondalup, Western Australia
Department Community Services, Education and Social Sciences
Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. animal companionship
  2. Animal roles
  3. Bonds
  4. Cats
  5. Dogs
  6. Loneliness
  7. Mammals
  8. Older adults
  9. Pet ownership
  10. Pets and companion animals
  11. Pet satisfaction
  12. Physical environment
  13. social support