• The benefits of pet companionship in emerging adults

      DeMarco, Leighann (2012-06-28)
      The present study examines the benefits associated with pet companionship in emerging adults. Past research suggests that pet companionship can have many positive impacts on individuals’ lives; however, little research has explored pet companionship during the transitional developmental period known as emerging adulthood. Three hundred and seventeen participants completed an online survey which measured five dependent variables, including loneliness, stress, life satisfaction, pet attachment, and anthropomorphism. An ANOVA indicated that participants who own and live with their pets are more likely to report lower levels of loneliness compared with those who do not own a pet. Also, t-tests revealed a significant difference in self-reported loneliness between dog and cat owners, with dog owners reporting significantly less loneliness than cat owners. Overall, the findings suggest that there are benefits to owning a pet during emerging adulthood.
    • People-pleasing animals: mediating factors in attachment style difference between dog people and cat people

      Link, Jennifer (2021-05)
      Pets are more ubiquitous now than ever; with more and more couples opting to adopt dogs instead of having children, there’s never been a better time to attempt to discern the ways that people view these animals and what makes some people more likely to adopt one animal over another. Though past research has aimed to examine the ways that dog and cat people differ in terms of personality, little research has attempted to assess the role of attachment in the preference that individuals have towards one animal or another. The present research aimed to assess the ways that attribution of theory of mind and attachment style impact the preference that individuals have for cats or dogs. Findings suggest that, on average, participants attributed more theory of mind to dogs than to cats overall. Study 2 also indicates that pet preference, as well as attachment style, appear to partly influence the amount of theory of mind an individual attributes to dogs in particular. The results of this research may begin to unravel the ways that individuals attribute different traits to their pets based on species, and hopefully will contribute to the broader literature on the way that personality and individual differences factor into the preferences that individuals have for different animals as pets.