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Exploring adolescent loneliness and companion animal attachment

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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/9888

Exploring adolescent loneliness and companion animal attachment

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dc.contributor.author Black, Keri
dc.date.accessioned 2009-09-21T17:03:47Z
dc.date.available 2009-09-21T17:03:47Z
dc.date.issued 2009-09-21T17:03:47Z
dc.date.submitted July 2009
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1928/9888
dc.description.abstract This study explored the relationship between companion animal attachment and adolescent loneliness. Self report measures of loneliness (Revised UCLA Loneliness Scale), companion animal attachment (Companion Animal Bonding Scale), and social support (Social Support Questionnaire Revised Short Form) were completed by 293 adolescents from two ethnically diverse southwest rural high schools. Pet information included the type of favored pet, length of pet relationship, the number of household pets, and how the participants described their pet relationship. Participants also provided basic demographic data about themselves and their pets. Descriptive statistics, standard multiple regressions, t-tests, and ANOVAs were employed to examine relationships among the demographic data, pet variables, loneliness, and social support. Pet owners reported significantly lower loneliness scores than non-pet owners, t (290) = 4.1, p < .001. Furthermore, companion animal bonding scores were inversely related to loneliness scores. Social support was measured with two scores: the number of humans in the social network and the perceived satisfaction with the network. Companion animal attachment was positively related to the number of humans in the social support network. However, teens with multiple household pets reported less satisfaction with the social network. Females reported higher pet attachment than males t (241) = 2.61, p = .01, but otherwise no significant demographic factors were found in loneliness or pet attachment scores. Adolescents predominately described their pet relationship with affectionate terms. It is questionable if a companion animal assessment tool aptly captures the feelings adolescents have for their pets. Hence both theory and instrument development for pet attachment among adolescents is recommended. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject adolescent loneliness en_US
dc.subject companion animal bond en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Loneliness in adolescence.
dc.subject.lcsh Attachment behavior in adolescence.
dc.subject.lcsh Children and animals.
dc.title Exploring adolescent loneliness and companion animal attachment en_US
dc.type Dissertation en_US
dc.description.degree PhD Nursing en_US
dc.description.level Doctoral en_US
dc.description.department University of New Mexico. College of Nursing en_US
dc.description.advisor Lobo, Marie
dc.description.committee-member Carlson, Karen
dc.description.committee-member Mendelson, Cindy
dc.description.committee-member Johnson, Rebecca


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