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Title: Children and Companion Animals
Authors: Lokhande, Anushree
Keywords: Centre for Human Ecology
Sujata Sriram
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: TISS
Abstract: The aim of the present study was to understand the relationship between children and companion animals. T he benefits of companion animals have been studied and accepted to a great extent, but there is still a need to understand what it is like for a child who has a companion animal in his or her house . The exploratory study was conducted in Mumbai on children in the age group of 7 to 10 years. The interviews were conducted on 8 children and 4 parents with the help of an interview guide. The method of analysis was thematic analysis. It was seen that majority of the parents had planned to get a companion animal and then later let their children know about the decision. Many children spoke about how they do not feel lonely because of the presence of the companion animal. The children reported feeling a high level of comfort with the companion animal and said that they felt they could share their happiness and sadness with them. It was found that the children were an active partaker in the dog’s grooming and it played a critical part of child’s experience with the dog.The parents reported that post getting the dog; they noticed changes in the child like the child becoming more responsible, child’s openness to express feelings and their child becoming more confident. There is a need for more research to be done on the human animal bond since companion animals play a huge role in the lives of their owners.
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