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Title: A Mixed-Methods Assessment of Human Well-Being Related to the Presence of Companion Animals During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Contributor(s): Bennett, Bindi (author); Cosh, Suzie  (author)orcid ; Thepsourinthone, Jack (author); Lykins, Amy  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2022
Early Online Version: 2022-04-13
Open Access: Yes
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COVID-19 and the measures used to curb the pandemic (e.g., lockdowns, isolation) have significantly impacted mental health and well-being. This study sought to investigate the role of companion animals in alleviating stress and improving mental health during the pandemic. In this study, 250 Australian adults completed measures of well-being and life satisfaction, animal dependency, perceived emotional support from animals, and animals' effect on mood. Employment and living with others were the strongest predictors of positive life satisfaction and well-being, while greater dependency on companion animals for emotional support and companion animals' negative effects on mood were associated with reduced life satisfaction and well-being. Qualitative data indicated equivocal results with animals a source of both support and stress, pointing to the complex nature of human-animal relationships, particularly during times of considerable stress. These outcomes have significant implications for welfare, as animals perceived to be annoying or disruptive may be at higher risk of abuse, neglect, and behavioral surrendering.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: People and Animals, 5(1), p. 1-14
Publisher: Purdue University Press
Place of Publication: United States of America
ISSN: 2575-9078
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 520302 Clinical psychology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 200409 Mental health
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Psychology

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