Pawsitive Impact: How Pets Enhance Our Psychological Well-Being

dc.contributor.advisorTomlinson, Tracy
dc.contributor.authorBagni, Sokun
dc.description.abstractResearch into psychological well-being (PWB), a multidimensional construct that includes self-actualization and healthy relationships (Adler et al., 2017), is fundamental for improving the positive functioning of individuals and communities. Therefore, this research considers the ability of pets to improve an individual's quality of life and PWB. Interacting with pets can offer emotional support, alleviate stress, and encourage physical activity, which can directly improve PWB (Gaied, 2022). Using a naturalistic observational research design, pet owners in a public park were assessedon their level of engagement and care towards their pets, and their PWB as measured by Duchenne smiles and laughter. The results indicate that those who have high-quality interactions with their pets have significantly better PWB than those who showed low-quality interaction. This study emphasizes the importance of meaningful interactions with pets in promoting PWB, suggesting that active engagement beyond the mere presence of the animal is crucial. This underscores the need for future research on pets in PWB, as their interactions could boost both individual and community well-being. The implications of this research support expanding traditional views on pet involvement by encouraging alternative engagements such as fostering pets and participating in pet cafe experiences. Future research should explore the causal pathways of this relationship and consider broader, more diversified samples to increase the generalizability of the results. Quality interactions with pets have the potential to greatly benefit individuals and society as a whole, making it an important area of future research. References Adler, A., Unanue, W., Osin, E., Ricard, M., Alkire, S., & Seligman, M. (2017). Psychological wellbeing. Happiness, 118. .pdf#page=123 Gaied, J. Y. (2022). Relationship between Pets' Possession and Psychological, Physical and general wellbeing of Community dwelling older adults. Alexandria Scientific Nursing Journal, 24(4), 37-47. Link to OSF Project:
dc.relation.isAvailableAtDigital Repository at the University of Maryland
dc.relation.isAvailableAtUniversity of Maryland (College Park, Md)
dc.relation.isAvailableAtOffice of Undergraduate Research
dc.subjectPsychological Well-Being
dc.titlePawsitive Impact: How Pets Enhance Our Psychological Well-Being


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