Relationships between pet ownership and health: Asking questions and passing criticisms

Pachana, N. A., Ford, J., Andrew, B. and Dobson, A. (2004). Relationships between pet ownership and health: Asking questions and passing criticisms. In: Alison Garton, Abstracts of the 39th Conference of The Australian Psychological Society; Australian Journal of Psychology. 39th Conference of The Australian Psychological Society, Sydney, Australia, (213-213). 29 September - 3 October, 2004.


Author Pachana, N. A.
Ford, J.
Andrew, B.
Dobson, A.
Title of paper Relationships between pet ownership and health: Asking questions and passing criticisms
Conference name 39th Conference of The Australian Psychological Society
Conference location Sydney, Australia
Conference dates 29 September - 3 October, 2004
Proceedings title Abstracts of the 39th Conference of The Australian Psychological Society; Australian Journal of Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
Journal name Australian Journal of Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
Place of Publication Basingstoke, England
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Publication Year 2004
Sub-type Published abstract
ISSN 1742-9536
0004-9530
Editor Alison Garton
Volume 56
Issue Supp.
Start page 213
End page 213
Total pages 1
Language eng
Abstract/Summary The literature examining purported relationships between ownership of companion animals and health is extremely heterogeneous. While much of the descriptive literature tends to support benefits of animal companionship, large scale, controlled research yields inconsistent and even contradictory findings on several issues, including associations with cardiovascular disease, mood and wellbeing. In an analysis of a large longitudinal data-set from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health, a prospective study of a nationally representative sample of more than 12,000 older women, difficulties with disentangling the effects of powerful demographic variables and age-related factors from the specific effects of pet ownership became apparent. Both cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses demonstrated that associations between mental and physical health and pet ownership as well as changes in pet ownership over time were weak and inconsistent compared to the large effects of living arrangements and other demographic variables. As sociodemographic variables relate strongly to both health and opportunities for pet ownership, this high level of confounding means it is unlikely that the impact of the specific variable of pet ownership on health can be ascertained from such studies. Rather, well-designed experimental studies, wherein the majority of such confounding variables can be held constant or at least somewhat controlled, are needed.
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Keyword Psychology, Multidisciplinary
Q-Index Code EX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

 
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Created: Tue, 14 Aug 2007, 00:57:56 EST