Published on 18 March 2023
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Supporting wellbeing: The role of pets

Prof Diane Coyle - mum to #sophiefromromania - & Prof Gordon Harold - dad to Gelert - discuss their experiences and the evidence of the positive impact of pet ownership for mental health and wellbeing.

Produced by the Rudd Centre, University of Cambridge

Professor Diane Coyle (Bennett Professor of Public Policy, University of Cambridge) and Professor Gordon Harold (Inaugural Professor of the Psychology of Education, Director of Andrew and Virginia Rudd Centre, University of Cambridge) discuss the role of pets in supporting wellbeing. Diane and Gordon talk about the positive impact of pet ownership on mental health and wellbeing, particularly for children and young people, and describe the importance of their relationships with their own dogs, Sophie the rescue dog who has becomes a social media sensation (#SophieFromRomania) and lively new Border Collie puppy, Gelert. 

Further reading

Applebaum, J. W., & Zsembik, B. A. (2020). Pet attachment in the context of family conflict. Anthrozoös, 33(3), 361-370.

Christian, H., Mitrou, F., Cunneen, R., & Zubrick, S. R. (2020). Pets are associated with fewer peer problems and emotional symptoms, and better prosocial behavior: Findings from the longitudinal study of Australian children. The Journal of Pediatrics, 220, 200-206.

Kretzler, B., König, HH. & Hajek, A. (2022). Pet ownership, loneliness, and social isolation: a systematic review. Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology 57, 1935–1957.

Lisk, C., Lawson, L. M., & Vaduvathiriyan, P. (2021). The Impact of animal exposure for children with ASD: A scoping review. Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 8(4), 471-481.

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the Bennett Institute for Public Policy.

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