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The Psychology of Friendship$
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Mahzad Hojjat and Anne Moyer

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190222024

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190222024.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 October 2021

Animals as Friends

Animals as Friends

Social Psychological Implications of Human–Pet Relationships

Chapter:
(p.157) 10 Animals as Friends
Source:
The Psychology of Friendship
Author(s):

Allen R. McConnell

E. Paige Lloyd

Tonya M. Buchanan

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190222024.003.0010

This chapter reviews research demonstrating that pets play a meaningful role in improving owners’ lives. For example, people facing health challenges fare better in numerous ways when they have a pet. Pet ownership benefits everyday people as well, with pet owners showing better well-being and more positive personality characteristics. Furthermore, pets complement human social support rather than offset human social support deficiencies, revealing that people derive greater benefits from pet ownership as the quality of their human interactions is better rather than poorer. Pets can stave off the negativity that results from social rejection experiences; and people bestow human-like qualities on pets to a greater degree following social rejection, presumably in order to increase a sense of connection with others. Most pet owners view their pets as “family members,” incorporating them into the most important social group of all.

Keywords:   animal, pet, social support, health, well-being, anthropomorphism, family, stress

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