Mental health and pet ownership

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Ivanova, Teodora
Issue Date
BA (Hons) in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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Mental health is an ever growing interest both within society and psychology. Because the importance of our pets plays an important and crucial part in our lives, this study set out to find significant results between our pets and positive mental health. With the use of 214 participants with 286 pets in total, the study focused on levels of Depression, Anxiety and Stress with the use of the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS). Participants were also asked an open ended question, “What do YOU think, the benefits of pets are?”, for qualitative results to be analysed afterwards. While the data analysis found no significant results for the first two hypothesis, our third quantitative hypothesis found a significant difference in results between the two age groups that had been examined. The qualitative results show us a more in-dept view into people’s relationships with their pets and their behaviour towards them. The answers also show the importance of qualitative research within pet studies and the contribution it can have to insignificant quantitative results.