ERIC Number: ED312087
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Companion Animal Bonding, Children's Home Environments, and Young Children's Social Development.
Poresky, Robert H.; Hendrix, Charles
These exploratory studies focused on child-pet bonding and the effect of the quality of chldren's home environments on the social development of preschoolers. Survey data from 88 parents regarding the parents, their homes, and their preschool child provided empirical support for the hypothesis that young children derive developmental benefits from their interactions with pets. Additional data from home interviews with some families provided further support for the general premise that there are developmental benefits to children from interacting with pets. Benefits were primarily in the social domain, and involved social competence, empathy, and attitudes towards pets. "Pet bonding" appeared to be a stronger determinant of pet-associated benefits than pet ownership. Other family elements, including Environmental Assessment Index measures of the quality of home environments, were associated with pet ownership and bonding and the children's development. Children with pets and children with better home environments had higher age-adjusted child development scores. Further research is recommended for the purposes of replicating these results and clarifying their complex linkage. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Kansas State Univ., Manhattan. Dept. of Human Development and Family Studies.
Note: Paper presented at the National Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (21st, Kansas City, MO, April 27-30, 1989).