Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master Of Arts In Clinical Psychology

Colleges & School

College Of Arts And Sciences

First Advisor

Gregory Jurenec, PhD

Library of Congress Subject Heading

Well-being; Quality of life; Mental health; Pets


There are many people who would say that an animal’s presence and companionship affect a person’s well-being. Some say that animals can negatively impact one’s well-being while others say animals positively impact one’s well-being. There is strong supporting evidence that animal companionship and attachment can positively affect a person’s well-being. According to Cole, Gawlinski, Steers, and Kotlerman (2007), Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) not only affected participants’ blood pressure and heart rate, but also their levels of anxiety, depression, and fear. Also, according to El-Alayli, Lystad, Webb, Hollingsworth, and Ciolli, (2006)dog and cat owners are likely to have less annual doctor’s visits, require less medication, and report fewer sleep problems. Heart attack patients who had pets were eight times more likely to be alive the next year than those who did not have pets (p.133). While past research has shown there is a positive relationship between animal companionship and bonding with a person’s well-being, there is also research supporting the idea that there is no relationship between animal companionship and attachment on a person’s well-being. A study conducted by Johnson and Rule (1991) failed to show a connection between pet owners and positive self-esteem, extraversion, and lower levels of neuroticism.


On-Campus Access

OCLC Number