Ethnic Variations in Pet Attachment among Students at an American School of Veterinary Medicine

 

Author(s): Sue-Ellen Brown

Source: [http://titania.ingentaselect.com/vl=203481/cl=74/nw=1/rpsv/cw/brill/10631119/contp1.htm]Society and Animals      Volume: 10 Number: 3, Nov. 2002

Page: 249 - 266

DOI: 10.1163/156853002320770065

Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers

Abstract: This study explores ethnic variations in animal companion ("pet") attachment among 133 students enrolled in a school of veterinary medicine. The 57 White and 76 African American participants completed surveys that included background information, several questions about their animal companions, and a pet attachment questionnaire (PAQ).White students had significantly higher PAQ scores than did African American students (p<.001). White students also had significantly more pets (M =4.05 vs. 2.18, p<.001) and more kinds of pets (M =2.30 vs. 1.57, p<.001) and were more likely to allow pets to sleep on their beds (70% vs. 53%, p<.05). Although keeping pets is a universal cultural phenomenon, how that attachment is expressed may vary from culture-to-culture. This study explores possible explanations and implications for these variations.