The Effect of Pets on Spousal Bereavement Over a Two-Year Period

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Identifier 1995_Bernstein
Title The Effect of Pets on Spousal Bereavement Over a Two-Year Period
Creator Bernstein, Vicki Ellen
Subject Bereavement; Grief; Pets; Bonding, Human-Pet; Spouses; Depression; Loneliness; Adaptation, Psychological; Empathy; Aging Populations; Spousal Bereavement; Companion Animals
Description The purpose of this thesis was to examine the effect of pet ownership on bereavement outcomes over a 2-year period. One hundred ninety-two individuals, age 50 to 93 years old, were divided into categories and type of pet ownership and were interviewed six times during 2 years of bereavement. Questionnaires were completed that measured bereavement outcomes (perceived stress, perceived coping, depression, and loneliness). Respondent-generated responses to pet helpfulness also were measured. Findings indicate that pet ownership does not seem to affect bereavement outcomes over time. Loneliness was the response given most frequently in all pet categories to the question: "What has been the single greatest problem for you related to the death of your spouse?" When compared to mixed species' owners, dog owners had significantly higher stress levels at Time 1. Compared to cat owners, dog owners were significantly more depressed than cat owners at Time 5. Dog owners had decreased depression levels over time. Cat owners had higher perceived coping ability over the last 6 months of bereavement. A majority of pet owners reported that their pets helped them through the bereavement process because of the companionship they provided and, in some cases, a greater sense of protection. The findings of this study suggest that the role of pet ownership in bereavement is complex. Extensive research that examines pet ownership over the life course is needed to understand this phenomenon.
Publisher Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library, University of Utah
Date 1995
Language eng
Rights Management Copyright © Vicki Ellen Bernstein 1995
Holding Institution Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library, University of Utah
Scanning Technician sg
Metadata Cataloger AMT
Name Vicki Ellen Bernstein
Type Text
ARK ark:/87278/s6hq6x70
Setname ehsl_gerint
Date Created 2013-01-28
Date Modified 2018-06-08
ID 179489
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6hq6x70
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