Clinical Psychology 5 (2012), 1-2, 59-79


Pets and Implications for the Health and Psychophysical Wellbeing of Their Owners

Jelena Ombla - Department of Psychology, University of Zadar, Zadar

Fulltext (croatian, pages 59-79).pdf

Attachment theory, as well as many studies which stem from it’s assumptions, so far have shown that individual overall well-being is greatly affected by relations, i.e. bonds that one develops with significant others during their lifetime. Studying characteristics of pet owners and the quality of bonds which are formed between owners and their pets, is still a novelty in Croatia, with a handful of authors mentioning the topic so far. Foreign studies, on the other hand, provide a vast amount of data and thereby form a stable starting point for future research in this field. Some of the consistent findings indicate that pets are considered family members, while the affective bond that is formed between the owner and his pet appears to be mutually beneficial, along with numerous advantages relevant for the health and well-being of the owner. Although previous findings mostly support the positive pet effect, there are some contradictory results which emphasize the need for further studies. There is an evident need for defining pet owners’ psychological characteristics in relations to the intensity of affective linkage between owners and pets. In addition, it is also necessary to define methodological approaches to problems in this research area.

attachment theory, pets, positive pet effect

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