Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Therapeutic benefits of the human-animal bond

Date:
November 30, 2009
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
A pet owner knows the enormous joy and comfort that an animal can provide, especially in troubled times. Most pets are considered important members of the family and irreplaceable companions. A growing body of research now documents the value of the human-animal bond in child development, elderly care, mental illness, physical impairment, dementia, abuse and trauma recovery, and the rehabilitation of incarcerated youth and adults.

A pet owner knows the enormous joy and comfort that an animal can provide, especially in troubled times. Most pets are considered important members of the family and irreplaceable companions. A growing body of research now documents the value of the human-animal bond in child development, elderly care, mental illness, physical impairment, dementia, abuse and trauma recovery, and the rehabilitation of incarcerated youth and adults.

In two articles in a recent issue of Family Process, titled "Human-Animal Bonds I," (focused on the benefits of companion animals) and "Human-Animal Bonds II," (focused on their role in couple and family dynamics and family therapy), Dr. Froma Walsh reviews and distills the essence of this cutting-edge research. She examines how a bond with a pet can strengthen human resilience through times of crisis, persistent adversity, and disruptive transitions, such as relocation, divorce, widowhood, and adoption.

The well-being and healing that a pet can provide include a range of relational benefits, from stress reduction and playfulness, to loyal companionship, affection, comfort, security, and unconditional love. Pets also can be drawn into couple and family conflict. Women often do not leave abusive partners because of threats of abuse to a beloved pet.

Dr. Walsh says, "The powerful meaning and significance of companion animals is underestimated." Mental health professionals rarely consider these bonds in clinical assessment and intervention, with focus limited to human relationships. Profound attachments with pets -- and grief in their loss -- are often marginalized, seen as abnormal, or altogether ignored in theory, training, and practice, These two articles provide an essential overview to inform clinical scholars and practitioners of the potential benefits in facilitating positive growth for individuals, couples, and families when companion animals are included as members of the healing team -- and even co-therapists.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Walsh et al. Human-Animal Bonds I: The Relational Significance of Companion Animals. Family Process, 2009; 48 (4): 462 DOI: 10.1111/j.1545-5300.2009.01296.x

Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Therapeutic benefits of the human-animal bond." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091130121441.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2009, November 30). Therapeutic benefits of the human-animal bond. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091130121441.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Therapeutic benefits of the human-animal bond." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091130121441.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins