BY Rick Nauert, PHD
Among those with health problems, animals are widely used to aid emotional well-being and augment physical rehabilitation. It turns out they are an important source of social and emotional support for regular folks as well.
Psychologists from two college campuses conducted three experiments to examine the potential benefits of pet ownership among what they called everyday people.
“We observed evidence that pet owners fared better, both in terms of well-being outcomes and individual differences, than non-owners on several dimensions,” said lead researcher Allen R. McConnell, PhD, of Miami University in Ohio.
“Specifically, pet owners had greaterself-esteem, were more physically fit, tended to be less lonely, were more conscientious, were more extraverted, tended to be less fearful and tended to be less preoccupied than non-owners.”