Contemporary Psychology, Vol. 19, No. 2, 2016, 165-177

Original scientific paper

Quality of Close Relations in Dog Owners and Aspects of Attachment to the Pet

Jelena Ombla - Department of Psychology, University of Zadar, Zadar
Marina Vidaković - Department of Psychology, University of Zadar, Zadar

Fulltext (croatian, pages 165-177).pdf

Pet ownership does not have an explicitly defined purpose, still it seems to be a mutual affective relation. This is emphasized when it comes to dogs as pets. Dogs are the most popular pet species and people express that they form strong emotional bonds with dogs. Research shows that sometimes pets compensate the lack of human attachment bonds, while in other cases they expand the range of relations and social contacts that contribute to general life satisfaction and give support in stressful moments. The aim of this research was to determine if two samples of dog owners differ in some aspects of quality of close interpersonal relations, considering certain aspects of attachment to their pet dogs. Results confirm the expectations; the sample of dog owners recruited by the snow ball technique reports higher quality of close interpersonal relations as well as higher life satisfaction, while the self-recruited sample of dog owners has weaker quality of relations with significant others and they are less satisfied with their life. Furthermore, the sample of dog owners who form weaker interpersonal bonds are more attached to their pet. Their affiliative motivation is distinguished by the need for attention and following self-praise which points to possible personality factors as relevant for interpersonal functioning.

attachment, loneliness, interpersonal relations, pets

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