Human Animal Bond Research Initiative Awards Grant to University of Missouri
Washington, D.C. (September 9, 2015) — The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) today announced it has awarded a $43,000 grant to the University of Missouri for a new study to explore how companion animals effect social engagement and psychological well-being in adults ages 55+.
The primary objective of the study is to examine the influence of companion animal ownership on the social engagement (social contacts and organizational participation) and psychological well being (life satisfaction and depression) of adults. It aims to discover if companion animal owners have better social engagement and well-being than those who do not during mid- (55-64 years) and later (65+) adulthood, in addition to exploring the differences between the two age groups.
“We are excited to be able to look at how having a cat or dog impacts social engagement and mental health for middle-aged and older adults,” said Dr. Rebecca Johnson, PhD, RN, FAAN, FNAP, lead investigator and professor at the University of Missouri. “We believe that people who have a dog or cat will be less socially isolated, have lower depression, and higher life satisfaction compared to non-pet owners.”
The research team will analyze data from a recent national study, the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and utilize a novel approach in looking at those individuals who participated in an experimental human-animal interaction portion of the survey to provide a robust contribution to information on how companion animals can impact this demographic. The project is expected to be complete in one year.
“With 75 million baby boomers entering mid and later adulthood it is vital that we understand how everything, including pets, can improve their lives,” said HABRI Executive Director Steve Feldman. “With the results of this study in hand, potential pet owners will have new information about the benefits of bringing a pet into their lives, and health care providers could more frequently consider prescribing pets for older Americans in their care.”
The HABRI Foundation maintains the world’s largest online library of human-animal bond research and information; to date has funded more than half a million dollars in innovative research projects to scientifically document the health benefits of companion animals; and informs the public about human-animal bond research and the beneficial role of companion animals in society. For more information about the HABRI Foundation, visit www.habri.org.
About the University of Missouri
The University of Missouri offers more than 300 degree programs through 19 colleges and schools and is one of only five universities nationwide with law, medicine, veterinary medicine, and nuclear research reactor on one campus. Founded in 2005, the University of Missouri Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction operates as a dynamic collaboration between the University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing and College of Veterinary Medicine with a mission of education and conducting programs and studies about the benefits of human-animal interaction. For more information, visit www.rechai.missouri.edu.
More Press Releases
Study Finds Dogs De-Stress Families with Autistic Children
The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) Foundation announced today the results of a long-term study to explore the effects of pet dogs on families with children with autism spectrum disorder, just published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior. The findings of the study showed significantly improved family functioning of families with a dog compared to those without. The study also found a reduction in parent-child dysfunctional interactions among families that had a dog. “While there is growing evidence that animal-assisted therapy can aid in the treatment of children with autism spectrum disorders, this study is one of the first to examine how pet dog ownership can also improve the lives of those more widely affected by autism,” said the principal investigator on the study, Professor Daniel Mills, BVSc, PhD, from the University of Lincoln, UK. “We found a significant, positive relationship between parenting stress of the child’s main caregiver and their attachment to the family dog. This highlights the importance of the bond between the carer and their dog in the benefits they gain.” HABRI Executive Director Steven Feldman said: “Parents of children with autism can experience increased anxiety and stress, and now we have strong scientific evidence to show that pets can have positive effects on these quality-of-life issues. Families with an autistic child should consider pet ownership as a way to improve family harmony.” This...
Dave’s Pet Food Supports HABRI
The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) announced today that Dave’s Pet Food, a leader in high-quality and affordable nutritious food for dogs and cats, has become an official supporter of HABRI and its research on the human health benefits of companion animals. “In addition to our mission at Dave’s Pet Food to provide pet owners with the food they need to keep their pets health and happy, we’re proud to be supporting HABRI’s efforts to fund scientific research on the health benefits of pets,” said Dave Ratner, Founder of Dave’s Pet Food. “The need to provide pets with healthy, high-quality food is an essential part of strengthening the human-animal bond.” “Supporting HABRI helps to raise awareness of the health benefits of the human-animal bond, which we know motivates pet owners to take better care of their pets,” said Steven Feldman, Executive Director of HABRI. “HABRI is grateful for the support from Dave and Dave’s Pet Food and looks forward to working together to help pet owners take the best possible care of their pets.” Increasingly, scientific evidence reports that pets can boost heart health, alleviate depression, improve well-being, support child health and development, and contribute to healthy aging. Additionally, companion animals can assist in the treatment of a broad range of conditions—from post-traumatic stress to Alzheimer’s disease to autism spectrum disorder. The benefits of the human-animal bond impact more than just human health. HABRI survey research demonstrates that understanding the scientific research behind the human-animal bond motivates pet owners to take better care of their pets, including providing pets with high-quality nutrition and maintaining their veterinary health. About Dave’s Pet Food Dave’s Pet Food combines nutritious, yummy, high-quality pet food for owners looking for healthy options for their cats and dogs—at an affordable price. Dave’s formulas were developed to be wholesome...
HABRI Named Among the Best Animal Therapy Non-Profits of 2017
The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) has been chosen as one of the best animal therapy non-profits of the year by Healthline.com, one of the largest and fastest growing health information sites on the web. “This honor boosts HABRI’s mission to establish the human-animal bond as an essential part of our health and wellness,” said Steven Feldman, HABRI Executive Director. “It also serves as a seal-of-approval that shows HABRI is making a real difference for the health of both people and their pets.” According to Healthline.com, they put together their list with a focus on non-profits “actively working to educate, inspire, and support people while sharing the benefits of therapy animals,” and commended these organizations for being “dedicated to exploring and supporting the human-animal bond.” “It is tremendously gratifying to see HABRI’s work to fund human-animal bond scientific research recognized in this way,” Feldman added. “HABRI also extends its congratulations to the other non-profit organizations recognized by healthline.com for providing animal therapy programs and services to people in need.”