Social Relations, Emotional Relatedness to a Pet and Life Satisfaction in Dog Owners

Jelena Ombla, Marina Vidaković

Abstract


Empirical findings systematically confirm the positive pet
effect on health and psychophysical well-being of pet
owners. At the same time, the structure and subjective quality
of the owner's social milieu could be important for the
development of an emotional bond with a pet. Also, it seems
that the quality of interpersonal relations determines the way
in which the relationship with a pet is reflected on the
owner's well-being. The aim of this research was to
investigate the strength and direction of the relation between
emotional relatedness to a pet and life satisfaction in pet
owners, while controling for effects of variables indicating the
owner's social milieu, and also to analyze their possible
moderating effects. There were 219 dog owners who
completed a paper-pencil questionnaire form. The following
data was collected: general sociodemographic information
and short estimation of social support, the experience of
loneliness, life satisfaction and emotional relatedness to a
pet. Emotional relatedness to a pet is a positive predictor of
life satisfaction in dog owners, even when effects of the
quality of social milieu are controled. Social loneliness is a
moderator of the relation between emotional closeness to a
pet dog and life satisfaction. Data on interpersonal relations
quality are necessary in the research of pet ownership
implications.

Keywords


emotional relatedness to a pet; life satisfaction; quality of social milieu

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Copyright (c) 2019 Jelena Ombla, Marina Vidaković

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Print ISSN 1330-0288 | Online ISSN 1848-6096