Date of Award
Studies about pet ownership have found higher psychological health in those who own pets (Straede & Gates, 1993), as well as a relationship between attachment to a pet and feelings of support (Stammbach & Turner, 1999). The present study was designed to expand on previous research and to specifically examine the relationship between pet ownership and stress in college students. Two hypotheses were tested. Hypothesis 1 was that college students who own pets will perceive less stress. Hypothesis 2 was that the perceived level of stress would correlate negatively with the level of attachment to a pet. Participants were 135 students who completed the Perceived Stress Scale (Cohen, Karmack, & Mermelstein, 1983). Sixty-three students qualified via pet ownership and completed the Companion Animal Bonding Scale (Poresky, Hendrix, Mosier & Samuelson, 1987). The majority of participants were female, Caucasian, and 18-19 years of age. Statistical analyses did not provide significant support for either hypothesis 1 or 2. Based on these results, it appears that additional research is needed to further explore the potential impact of pet ownership on the perception and response to stress.
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Blanton, Baylee Ray, "Perceived Student Stress in Relation to Attachment Theory with Pets" (2019). Honors College. 59.