Furry Friends, Neglect, and Social Support: An Examination of Pet Attachment and Its Predictors

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Dr. M. Rose Barlow


The purpose of this study was to research the relationship of stuffed animal and pet attachment to neglect and social support. A positive correlation has been found between pet attachment and dissociation (Brown & Katcher, 2001). While many studies have looked at predictors of pet attachment, little research has been conducted on pet attachment and neglect. We surveyed Psychology 101 students in an online survey. The first hypothesis was that neglect would be highly correlated with attachment to stuffed animals, but negatively correlated with attachment to pets. The second hypothesis was that people with greater current social support from parents would also have greater attachment to pets than did people without such strong support.

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