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Psychology and Psychotherapy: Research Study

Relationships with Pet Dogs and Well-being in Adulthood

  • Open or CloseEffie Heotis

    College of Arts and Sciences, USA

    *Corresponding author:Effie Heotis, College of Arts and Sciences, USA

Submission: November 23, 2020;Published: January 22, 2021

DOI: 10.31031/PPRS.2020.04.000591

ISSN: 2639-0612
Volume4 Issue4


Despite that pets play an important role in contemporary society; little is known about the inner world of adults who have close relationships with dogs. The researcher conducted a qualitative, phenomenological study to develop a better understanding of the lived experiences of adults who have close relationships with dogs as companions. Attachment theory served to illuminate on the cognitive and developmental aspects regarding relationships with dogs during adulthood. Interviews were conducted with 15 adult dog owners to gain insights into the inner world of dog owners who have close relationships with dogs. Essential elements constituting the regulation of negative emotions, facilitation of positive emotions, promotion of increased physical activity, enhancement of interpersonal socialization emerged as core themes to shed light on adults’ experiences of close relationships with dogs. Additionally, the companionship and security of unconditional love, and the fulfillment in meeting a loved one’s needs emerged as central elements in adults’ attachment experiences. This study provided an indepth understanding of how close relationships with dogs inform dog owners’ psychological and physical well-being in adulthood. Implications of these findings are important for practices given that adults’ wellbeing can be developed and promoted through close relationships with dogs.

Keywords: Well-being;Dogs;Pets;Attachment theory;Adult development;Counseling

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