Examining the relationship between pet ownership and human health
Previous research has established that pet ownership is related to psychological (Parslow et. al, 2005) and physical health (Siegel, 1990) in adulthood. However, no research to date has examined the relationship between pet ownership in childhood and psychological and physical health later in life. This study examined the relationship between pet ownership in childhood and physical and psychological functioning in young adulthood. Fifty undergraduate students at Washington State University provided information related to demographics, pet attachment, pet anthropomorphism, and physical and psychological functioning. Regression analysis was used to determine if pet ownership (i.e. pet attachment, pet anthropomorphism) significantly predicted psychological and physical functioning. Results indicated that pet ownership was significantly related to physical functioning, but not psychological functioning. Although the results from the current investigation are promising, further research is necessary to better understand the relationship between pet ownership and human health.