Effects of Companion Dogs on Adult Attachment, Emotion Regulation, and Mental Wellbeing in Hong Kong

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Abstract

This study utilized attachment theory to explore the functions of companion animals (pets) and the influence of secure human-pet bond on attachment security and emotion regulation among companion-Animal guardians (pet owners) in Hong Kong. Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted exploring the relative influence of adult attachment and pet attachment on mental wellbeing, and the moderating effect of pet attachment on emotion regulation. Results revealed a consistent attachment pattern across human-human and human-pet bonds. A secure human-pet bond can act as a positive catalyst that exerts a moderating effect on emotion reappraisal. Treating pets as family members/friends helps pet owners receive the security that they lack in adult attachment. This study verified the role of pets as a "security supplement"(an additional supply of security) rather than a complete substitute for a human attachment figure. Implications for theory, service practice, and policy are discussed. Keywords

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalSociety and Animals
Volume46
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • veterinary(all)
  • Sociology and Political Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • adult attachment
  • emotion regulation
  • Hong Kong pet owners
  • mental wellbeing
  • pet attachment

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