Bonds with pets make military kids resilient

Bonds with pets make military kids resilient
Highlights

Strong attachments with pets may help children from military families develop resilience and other positive developmental traits, shows a research.

Washington:Strong attachments with pets may help children from military families develop resilience and other positive developmental traits, shows a research.
Caring for a pet boosts self-confidence, establishes important routines and provides a stabilising force in the highly-mobile life of a military child, the findings showed.
Children from military families face significant challenges such as parental deployment and frequent moves.
"We found that kids with deployed parents who had developed a deep bond with a family pet reported having better coping strategies in dealing with the stress than those without such ties to a companion animal," said Megan Mueller, assistant professor at Tufts University in Massachusetts, US.
The researchers collected responses on measures of human-animal interaction (HAI), positive youth development, stress and adaptive coping strategies from nearly 300 children in grades six through 12.
Around 70 percent of the youth surveyed had family pets and most of them had some involvement in care taking.
Greater attachment to companion animals was associated with higher positive youth development scores, measured characteristics of competence, confidence, connection, character and caring for all military-connected children, found the study.
"Strong attachments to pets may foster a more proactive attitude about handling stressful problems and could serve as a bridge to developing and maintaining peer relationships during stressful circumstances," Mueller pointed out.
The study appeared in the journal Applied Developmental Science.

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