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Open AccessArticle

Dog and Cat Ownership Predicts Adolescents’ Mental Well-Being: A Population-Based Longitudinal Study

1
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, 2-1-6 Kamikitazawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 156-8506, Japan
2
Department of Neuropsychiatry, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8655, Japan
3
Department of Animal Science and Biotechnology, Azabu University, 1-17-71 Fuchinobe, Chuo-ku, Sagamihara-shi, Kanagawa 252-5201, Japan
4
Department of Food and Life Science, Azabu University, 1-17-71 Fuchinobe, Chuo-ku, Sagamihara-shi, Kanagawa 252-5201, Japan
5
Graduate School of Education, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
6
School of Advanced Science, SOKENDAI (Graduate University for Advanced Studies), Shonan Village, Hayama, Kanagawa 240-0193, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 884; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17030884
Received: 10 December 2019 / Revised: 24 January 2020 / Accepted: 29 January 2020 / Published: 31 January 2020
A potential association between pet ownership and mental well-being is suggested, but there is a shortage of high-quality longitudinal studies that consider probable differences among different species. We aimed to examine whether ownership of the most popular pets (dogs and cats) would predict mental well-being. The Tokyo Teen Cohort (TTC), a prospective population-based birth cohort study, had dog and cat ownership data at age 10 and mental well-being score at ages 10 and 12 from 2584 adolescents. Linear regression analysis with adjusting for covariates showed that dog ownership had a positive effect on mental well-being compared to no dog ownership, however, cat ownership had a negative effect compared to no cat ownership. Two-factor mixed-design analysis of variance showed that dog ownership predicted maintained mental well-being, while cat ownership predicted progressing decline of mental well-being. Thus, dog and cat ownership may have different effects on adolescents’ mental well-being, implying that the underlying mechanisms that are activated by these types of ownership may differ. View Full-Text
Keywords: pets; dogs; cats; cohort studies; adolescent; well-being pets; dogs; cats; cohort studies; adolescent; well-being
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Endo, K.; Yamasaki, S.; Ando, S.; Kikusui, T.; Mogi, K.; Nagasawa, M.; Kamimura, I.; Ishihara, J.; Nakanishi, M.; Usami, S.; Hiraiwa-Hasegawa, M.; Kasai, K.; Nishida, A. Dog and Cat Ownership Predicts Adolescents’ Mental Well-Being: A Population-Based Longitudinal Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 884.

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