Kids Are Closer To Pets Than Their Siblings

The researchers sampled 12-year-olds from 77 families that had at least a pet and a child per family.
By Jeremy Morrow | Jan 31, 2017
In a study done by University of Cambridge researchers, children are closer to their pets than to their siblings and derive satisfaction and companionship compared with their brothers and sisters.

Kids also were on better terms with pets meaning that the furry friends wield more influence in the children's development and also in developing their social skills in addition to their emotional well-being.

The researchers sampled 12-year-olds from 77 families that had at least a pet and a child per family. The study showed that the children in these families enjoyed better ties with their pets, with dogs being the favorite, with lower conflict rates and a strong bond formed. There was also a higher satisfaction rate with the animals as playmates compared to their siblings.

Though pets may not understand or respond verbally to kids, this fact had a positive impact as the kids found their furry friends to be non-judgemental.

Research that had been done earlier had shown that boys had a stronger bond with their pets, but this new research shows a different result as the girls showed more sharing, companionship, and conflict with the pets.

"Pets are common, but their importance to children and early adolescents has received scant empirical attention. This is partly due to a lack of tools for measuring child-pet relationships," the study noted.

In a landmark ruling by an Alaskan divorce court, pets should be assigned joint custody in divorce cases to children so that they could get all the love and affection they need.


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