The relationship between pet attachment, perceived stress and life satisfaction: An online survey

Wright, Simonne L. (2018-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY: International research on pet ownership has found a wide array of physical, psychological and social benefits as a result of human-animal interaction (HAI) (Beetz, Uvnäs-Moberg, Julius, & Kotrschal, 2012). In spite of South Africa’s declining economic situation, South Africa has a flourishing pet care market (Maharaj, 2017). By gaining literature in South Africa on pet ownership and pet attachment, we can gain greater insight into the nature of this complex relationship. The current study used a quantitative, survey design to investigate whether there is a relationship between pet attachment, perceived stress, and life satisfaction in South African pet owners. It also investigated whether there is a difference in perceived stress and life satisfaction between South African pet owners and non-pet owners. Additional exploratory analyses were conducted to determine if pet attachment, perceived stress, and life satisfaction differed according to age, gender, marital status, and type of pet. As a preliminary step, a pilot study was conducted. The pilot study sample comprised of 59 South African adults. The respondents were mostly white (89.8%), female (55.9%) pet owners (76.3%). The Cronbach’s alphas were calculated for all three standardised questionnaires used in the survey. Both versions of the CCAS, PSS and SWLS were found to have a high degree of internal reliability. Data was collected by means of an online survey, which was distributed using Facebook and electronic mail. The survey included a demographical and pet ownership questionnaire, and three standardised self-report measures, namely the Comfort from Companion Animal Scale (CCAS), Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), and Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS). The main study sample comprised of 3 329 South African adults. The respondents were mostly white (92.7%)), female (86.5%) pet owners (97.7%). Pearson’s correlations and one-way ANOVAS were then used to address the research questions and additional exploratory analyses. Effect size, using Cohens d (d) was calculated for all significant between group differences. The coefficient of determination (r2), was calculated for all significant relationships. Findings in the present study do not support the notion that pet attachment is directly related to perceived stress or life satisfaction in South African pet owners. Additionally, no significant difference was found between pet owners and non-pet owners in terms of perceived stress and life satisfaction. The additional exploratory analysis found that age was related to pet attachment, perceived stress, and life satisfaction. It also found significant differences in pet attachment, perceived stress, and life satisfaction between groups based on gender, marital status, and type of pet owned. The current study contributes to filling a gap in South African literature, with regards to pet ownership, pet attachment, perceived stress, and life satisfaction. However, there is still a need for further investigation of pet ownership and attachment within a South African context in order to gain a better understanding of this complex relationship.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Internasionale navorsing oor troeteldier-eienaarskap bevind ’n wye reeks fisieke, sielkundige en sosiale voordele weens mens-dier-interaksie (MDI) (Beetz et al., 2012). Ongeag die agteruitgang in Suid-Afrika se ekonomiese situasie, het die land ’n florende troeteldier-versorgingsmark (Maharaj, 2017). Deur die insameling van literatuur oor troeteldier-eienaarskap en -gehegtheid, kan daar groter insig ingewin word oor die aard van hierdie komplekse verhouding. Die onderhawige studie het ’n kwantitatiewe opnameontwerp gebruik om na te vors of daar ’n verhouding is tussen troeteldier-gehegtheid en lewenstevredenheid by Suid-Afrikaanse troeteldier-eienaars. Dit het ook ondersoek ingestel of daar ’n verskil is in waargenome stres en lewenstevredenheid tussen Suid-Afrikaanse troeteldier-eienaars en nie-troeteldier-eienaars. Daar is verder ’n eksploratiewe analise uitgevoer om vas te stel of eienaar-gehegtheid, waargenome stres en lewenstevredenheid verskil ooreenkomstig ouderdom, geslag, huwelikstatus en soort troeteldier. As ’n voorlopige stap is ’n loodsondersoek uitgevoer. Die loodsondersoek-steekproef het bestaan uit 59 volwasse Suid-Afrikaners. Die respondente was hoofsaaklik wit (89.8%), vroulik (55.9%) en troeteldier-eienaars (76.3%). Die Cronbach-alfas is beraam vir al drie gestandaardiseerde vraelyste wat in die opname gebruik is. Albei die weergawes van die CCAS, PSS en SWLS het ’n hoë mate van interne betroubaarheid getoon. Data is ingesamel by wyse van ’n aanlynopname wat versprei is deur middel van Facebook en elektroniese pos. Die opname het ’n demografiese eienaarsvraelys ingesluit en ook drie gestandaardiseerde selfverslagmetings, naamlik die Troos-vanaf-troeteldierskaal (CCAS), Waargenomestresskaal (PSS) en die Lewenstevredenheidskaal (SWLS). Die hoofstudiesteekproef het bestaan uit 3 329 Suid-Afrikaanse volwassenes. Die respondente was hoofsaaklik wit (92.7%), vroulik (86.5%) en troeteldier-eienaars (97.7%). Pearson-korrelasies en eenrigting-ANOVA’s is hierna gebruik om die navorsingsvrae en bykomende ondersoekende analises te hanteer. Effekgrootte is beraam met behulp van die Cohen d (d) vir alle beduidende tussengroep-verskille. Die bepalingskoëffisiënt (r²) is bepaal vir alle beduidende verhoudings. Bevindings in die onderhawige studie ondersteun nie die opvatting dat troeteldier-gehegtheid direk verband hou met waargenome stres of lewensbevrediging by Suid-Afrikaanse troeteldier-eienaars nie. Bykomend is daar geen beduidende verskil waargeneem nie tussen troeteldier-eienaars en nie-troeteldier-eienaars ooreenkomstig waargenome stres en lewenstevredenheid. Die bykomende eksploratiewe analise het bevind dat ouderdom verband hou met troeteldier-gehegtheid, waargenome stres en lewenstevredenheid. Dit het ook beduidende verskille bevind betreffend troeteldier-gehegtheid, waargenome stres en lewenstevredenheid tussen groepe gebaseer op geslag, huwelikstatus en soort troeteldier wat besit is. Die onderhawige studie dra daartoe by om ’n gaping te vul in Suid-Afrikaanse literatuur betreffende troeteldier-eienaarskap, troeteldier-gehegtheid, waargenome stres en lewenstevredenheid. Daar is egter steeds ’n behoefte aan verdere navorsing oor troeteldier-eienaarskap en -gehegtheid binne ’n Suid-Afrikaanse konteks met die doel om ’n beter begrip te vorm van hierdie komplekse verhouding. Trefwoorde: troeteldier-eienaarskap (‘pet ownership’); toeteldier-gehegtheid (‘pet attachment’); mens-dier-interaksie (‘human-animal interaction’); mens-dier-band (‘human-animal bond’); geselskapsdier (‘companion animal’); aanlynopname (‘online survey’); waargenome stres (‘perceived stress’) , lewenstevredenheid (‘life satisfaction’) en subjektiewe welwees (’subjective well-being’).

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/103362
This item appears in the following collections: