Human Grief Resulting from the Death of a Pet

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This study investigated antecedents of the human grief response which was associated with the death of a pet cat or dog. The sample included 207 voluntary subjects who experienced this type of loss within a one-year time period prior to participating in the study. Data for the predictor variables were obtained from two validated instruments and a questionnaire developed by the author. Data for grief outcome were obtained from another validated instrument on three clinical and three validity scales. The results indicated that level of attachment to the deceased pet, perceived understanding from others and other stressful events combined to have significant predictive ability in grief outcome. Other analyses indicated qualitative differences in grief outcome according to gender of owner and the presence of children and/or more than one other adult in the household. No significant difference was found between single and multiple pet ownership in grief outcome.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 1994

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