Do animals rid of loneliness - Wikipet
Animals are an important part of our lives. We are important to them as they are to us. They make ushappy and help savehealth. But do animals relieve loneliness?
The answer to this question is given by numerous studies. Judge for yourself.
Children who have animals exhibit a much higher level of empathy and are prosocially oriented than those who do not have animals. (Vidovic, 1999). So, such children can form more friendships and suffer less from loneliness.
Animals help adults too. They reduce feelings of loneliness and a sense of isolation among owners (Kidd, 1994).
There is even a direction of treatment and psychological assistance, which is called animal therapy - that is, the inclusion of animals in the process. Along with physical benefits, animal therapy also brings emotional benefits. Studies show positive changes in the development of social skills after the inclusion of animals in the work of institutions (Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, NY, Corson and Corson, 1978), a decrease in feelings of loneliness in patients and a decrease in social isolation, as well as an increase in the number of positive interactions between staff and patients .
Animal therapy can effectively reduce the feeling of loneliness in hospital patients, residents of shelters and nursing homes. (Banks, 2002).
Animals in nursing homes increase social and verbal interaction in addition to other treatments. (Fick, 1992).
In a study of families in the United States (Cain, 1985), participants talked about the role of animals in different periods of life. Most (68%) noted that animals were extremely important during periods of sadness, loneliness, or depression. In addition, 52% said that animals played an important role during illness or in the case of the death of friends and family members. Half of the owners noted that their animals were also important during family crises, such as divorce.
For some people, animals are the only members of the family. Through observations and interviews on the streets and in the parks, Kidd and Kidd (1994) examined the benefits of animals to homeless people and found a strong affection for animals. The affection for pets was so great that homeless people often did not come to animal shelters.
Allen and Blascovich in 1996 examined the importance of helper dogs for critically ill people. The study participants communicated with dogs for 6 months, and were tested before and after the study. Result: increased self-esteem, internal locus of control, psychological well-being and better integration into society. In addition, the dog was largely able to replace human helpers in everyday affairs.
Although the dog cannot cure the disease, it helps to perceive the world differently. One study participant said: “With my dog, I feel safe, do not feel helpless and do not fear the future. Everyone needs someone who can be taken care of, and we care and respect each other. ”
In 1991, Carmack studied the same issue and came to the conclusion that the most important thing in dealing with animals is their ability to reduce loneliness and isolation.The Carmack study is based on patient self-reports that emphasize the enormous role of animals in reducing stress. The study participants said that they talk with animals, consider them the meaning of their lives and feel they are needed.
Hunt, Hart and Gomulkiewicz (1992) investigated the role of small animals (rabbits and turtles) in the communication of strangers in the park. It was found that the presence of small animals was enough for unfamiliar children and adults to speak with their owners. No effort was needed.
In a similar study, Robins, Sanders, and Cahill (1991) studied the dynamics of dog owners in a park. The authors concluded that dogs expand the scope of their hosts' acquaintances, improve relationships between previously strangers, and help build trusting relationships. Dogs also help owners build friendships.
One explanation is that people have an interest in those with whom there is any resemblance. The logical continuation is that even people of different nationalities, levels of education, socio-economic status can find a common language in the "animal" issue and rely on each other. So, become less lonely.