Next Article in Journal
Perception, Knowledge and Behaviors Related to Typhoon: A Cross Sectional Study among Rural Residents in Zhejiang, China
Next Article in Special Issue
Dogs in the Workplace: A Review of the Benefits and Potential Challenges
Previous Article in Journal
Nocturnal Road Traffic Noise Exposure and Children’s Sleep Duration and Sleep Problems
Previous Article in Special Issue
The Effect of Dog-Assisted Intervention on Student Well-Being, Mood, and Anxiety
Article Menu
Issue 5 (May) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(5), 490; doi:10.3390/ijerph14050490

Childhood Attachment to Pets: Associations between Pet Attachment, Attitudes to Animals, Compassion, and Humane Behaviour

1
Clinical and Health Psychology, School of Health in Social Science, University of Edinburgh, Medical School, Teviot Place, Edinburgh EH8 9AG, UK
2
Kingseat Road, Halbeath, Dunfermline KY11 8PQ, Fife, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 6 March 2017 / Revised: 21 April 2017 / Accepted: 24 April 2017 / Published: 6 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Assisted Interventions and Activites for Health and Wellbeing)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [481 KB, uploaded 6 May 2017]   |  

Abstract

Attachment to pets has an important role in children’s social, emotional, and cognitive development, mental health, well-being, and quality of life. This study examined associations between childhood attachment to pets and caring and friendship behaviour, compassion, and attitudes towards animals. This study also examined socio-demographic differences, particularly pet ownership and pet type. A self-report survey of over one thousand 7 to 12 year-olds in Scotland, UK, revealed that the majority of children are strongly attached to their pets, but attachment scores differ depending on pet type and child gender. Analysis revealed that attachment to pets is facilitated by compassion and caring and pet-directed friendship behaviours and that attachment to pets significantly predicts positive attitudes towards animals. The findings have implications for the promotion of prosocial and humane behaviour. Encouraging children to participate in pet care behaviour may promote attachment between children and their pet, which in turn may have a range of positive outcomes for both children (such as reduced aggression, better well-being, and quality of life) and pets (such as humane treatment). This study enhances our understanding of childhood pet attachment and has implications for humane education and promoting secure emotional attachments in childhood. View Full-Text
Keywords: attachment; attitudes; children; compassion; humane behaviour; pets attachment; attitudes; children; compassion; humane behaviour; pets
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Hawkins, R.D.; Williams, J.M.; Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Scottish SPCA). Childhood Attachment to Pets: Associations between Pet Attachment, Attitudes to Animals, Compassion, and Humane Behaviour. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 490.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top