Date of Award


Document Type


Primary Advisor

Cherisse Flanagan

Secondary Advisor

Scott Perkins

Committee Reader

Richard Beck


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.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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