Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Pet ownership-Psychology, Attachment behavior, Self psychology, Social work students-Psychology, Stress (Psychology), Pet attachment, Burn out (Psychology), Graduate students-Psychology, Emperical, Quantitative


This study was undertaken to determine if social work clinicians and students who owned pets had lower rates of perceived stress than those who did not own pets. Secondly, did an owner's level of attachment to their pet play a role in the benefits they might gain in stress reduction due to pet ownership. A survey was sent to social work clinicians and students which included the Perceived Stress Scale and Lexington Attachment to Pet Scale. Forty-nine individuals responded. The findings of the research showed that pet owners reported significantly lower stress when compared to non pet owners, and stress decreased with increased pet attachment for the whole sample. Of further significance, when the results were separated by category, as pet attachment increased for divorced and single participants, their perceived stress decreased, while married and committed participants revealed no significant relationship between attachment and stress.


iii, 53 pages. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2014. Includes bibliographical references (pages 34-39)

Limited Access until August 2019