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Investigating the Effects of Pet Ownership on levels of Depression and Loneliness

Byrne, Lauren (2022) Investigating the Effects of Pet Ownership on levels of Depression and Loneliness. Undergraduate thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Abstract

The present study examined the effects of pet ownership on levels of depression and loneliness in the general population by examining the differences between pet owners and non-pet owners. The current study also examined the relationship between pet attachment and levels of depression and loneliness in pet owners. Previous research has shown that pets can have a positive impact on our mental well-being as well as having the ability to lessen feelings of emotional distress, depression, and loneliness: with the majority of the research focusing on those living in residential care homes, hospitals, prisons, and college dorms. The present study aimed to expand upon these findings and strengthen them by investigating the effects of pet ownership and pet attachment on the general population. Participants were recruited through social media via convenience sampling techniques (N=72) and completed an online survey containing demographic information, The Centre for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), The UCLA Loneliness Scale (UCLA), and The Censhare Pet Attachment Survey (CPAS). Results of independent t-test analyses found no statistically significant differences in depression or loneliness scores between pet owners and non-pet owners. Furthermore, results of the correlation analyses found a weak, negative correlation between pet attachment scores and depression scores as well as a weak, positive correlation between pet attachment scores and loneliness scores (in pet owners exclusively). These findings suggest that high levels of pet attachment were associated with lower levels of depression and higher levels of loneliness however, these findings were not statistically significant.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA790 Mental Health
Divisions: School of Business > BA (Honours) in Psychology
Depositing User: Clara Chan
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2022 16:09
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2022 16:09
URI: https://norma.ncirl.ie/id/eprint/5620

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