"The Contribution of Attachment to Pets and Attachment to Nature to Dissociation and Absorption"

Author(s): Sue-Ellen Brown & A. H. Katcher

Source: DISSOCIATION, Vol X, No. 2, June 1997
 
Abstract: The intent of this study was to determine if people who were highly attached to pets and/or nature would have higher levels of dissociation and absorption as measured by the Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES) and the Tellegen Absorption Scales (TAS). Three hundred and five college students were given the DES, TAS, the Pet Attachment Questionnaire (PAQ) and five questions devised to measure attachment to nature. Correlational analyses showed pet attachment was significantly correlated with both dissociation and absorption, while high nature attachment was significantly related to absorption but not significantly related to dissociation. Forty-one percent of participants with high pet attachment had clinical levels of dissociation. As dissociation is often related to trauma, pet attachments may provide a compensatory relationship for people with histories of trauma. An attachment to nature may be indicative of seeking an experience of sensory absorption, but not a relationship.