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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 658; doi:10.3390/ijerph14060658

Attachment Style Is Related to Quality of Life for Assistance Dog Owners

School of Life Sciences, University of Lincoln, Lincoln LN6 7DL, UK
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Received: 28 April 2017 / Revised: 30 May 2017 / Accepted: 12 June 2017 / Published: 19 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Assisted Interventions and Activities for Health and Wellbeing)
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Abstract

Attachment styles have been shown to affect quality of life. Growing interest in the value of companion animals highlights that owning a dog can also affect quality of life, yet little research has explored the role of the attachment bond in affecting the relationship between dog ownership and quality of life. Given that the impact of dog ownership on quality of life may be greater for assistance dog owners than pet dog owners, we explored how anxious attachment and avoidance attachment styles to an assistance dog affected owner quality of life (n = 73). Regression analysis revealed that higher anxious attachment to the dog predicted enhanced quality of life. It is suggested that the unique, interdependent relationship between an individual and their assistance dog may mean that an anxious attachment style is not necessarily detrimental. Feelings that indicate attachment insecurity in other relationships may reflect more positive aspects of the assistance dog owner relationship, such as the level of support that the dog provides its owner. View Full-Text
Keywords: dog attachment; assistance dogs; quality of life; anxious attachment dog attachment; assistance dogs; quality of life; anxious attachment
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).

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White, N.; Mills, D.; Hall, S. Attachment Style Is Related to Quality of Life for Assistance Dog Owners. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 658.

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