Pets Positively Influence Childhood Development!
Want to raise your children’s confidence, poise and self-esteem? Get them a pet! At least that’s what researchers in England recently reported.
To answer questions pertaining to the impact of pet ownership on the development of self-esteem, scholars at the University of Liverpool critically examined and combined the results of nine high quality research studies. Their answers published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in March, 2017.
Here is what they discovered. Pet owners in fifth and sixth grade reported higher levels of self-esteem than non-pet owners and pet owning sixth graders had higher self-concept scores in comparison to non-pet owners, even though greater attachment to pets was not related to self-esteem or self-concept.
In the same study, children aged 8–10 did not differ in terms of self-esteem compared to non-pet owners, concluding that pets may exert their greatest influence during pre-adolescence and adolescence.
“Research supports the theory that companion animals increase child and adolescent self-esteem,” which lends support for the perception that child-pet relationships impart a sense of self-importance and self-reliance.
Finally, the researchers weighed in on which animals make the best pets – their answer: dogs and cats of course!
Reference: Purewal, R. et al, 2017. Companion Animals and Child/Adolescent Development: A Systematic Review. Online [available]: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5369070/ [Accessed November 19, 2017].