Library: Health Benefits of Animals for Children

Updated: 01/23/2013 (*denotes newest articles)


Pet Ownership, Type of Pet and Socio-emotional Development of School Children. Vlasta Vizek Vidovic, Vesna Vlahovic Stetic and Denis Bratko. Originally published in Anthrozoos, Vol. 12, No. 4, 1999, pps 211-217.

Attitudes Toward Animals Among Norwegian Adolescents. by Tore Bjerke, et al. Eastern Norway Research Institute, Lillehammer, Norway.Originally published in Anthrozoos, Vol. 11, No. 2, 1998, 79-86.Children’s Attitudes About the Humane Treatment of Animals and Empathy: One Year Follow Up.. by Frank Ascione and Claudia Weber ,1996.

Enhancing Children's Attitudes About the Humane Treatment of Animals: Generalization to Human-directed Empathy, by Frank Ascione, 1992 [Download figures: Figure 1

Fostering Inter-Connectedness with Animals and Nature: The Developmental Benefits for Children. Gail Melson. People, Animals, Environment, Fall 1990, pp. 15-17.

The Role of Pets in Enhancing Human Well-Being: Effects on Child Development. by Nienke Endenburg and Ben Baarda. [Reprinted from The Waltham Book of Human-Animal Interactions: Benefits and Responsibilities. Courtesy of Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition.]

Children’s Attitudes About the Humane Treatment of Animals and Empathy: One Year Follow Up.. by Frank Ascione and Claudia Weber

Companion Animals and Other Factors Affecting Young Children’s Development, by Robert H. Poresky


Pet Ownership and Attachment in 9–10-Year-Old Children in Liverpool, UK. Alexander German1, Carri Westgarth1, Lynne Boddy2, Gareth Stratton2, Rosalind Gaskell1, Karen Coyne1, Peter Bundred1, Sandra McCune3, Susan Dawson1
1University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK.
2Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK.
3WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition, Waltham-on-the-Wolds, UK.

Factors Associated With Dog Walking In 9 –10-Year-Old Children in Liverpool, UK Carri Westgarth1, Lynne Boddy2, Gareth Stratton2, Alexander German1, Rosalind Gaskell1, Karen Coyne1, Peter Bundred1, Sandra McCune3, Susan Dawson1

* Robots as Dogs? Children’s Interactions with the Robotic Dog AIBO and a Live Australian Shepherd. Melson, Gail F.; Kahn, Peter H., Jr.; Beck, Alan M.; Friedman, Batya; Roberts, Trace; Garrett, Erik. p.1649-1652. Proceedings CHI EA '05 Extended Abstracts on Human factors in Computing Systems. Page header: CHI 2005. Late Breaking Results: Posters. April 2-7, Portland, Oregon, USA.

* A Survey of Pet- and Non-Pet-Owning Swedish Adolescents: Demographic Differences and Health Issues. Müllersdorf, Maria; Granström, Fredrik; Tillgren, Per. Anthrozoös. 2012 Mar; 25(1): 49-60.

* Exotic Pets: Health and Safety Issues for Children and Parents. Smith, Kristine M.; Smith, Katherine F.; D’Auria, Jennifer P. Journal of Pediatric Health Care.2012 Mar-Apr; 26(2): e2-e6.

* The Effect of a Real Dog, Toy Dog and Friendly Person on Insecurely Attached Children During a Stressful Task: An Exploratory Study. Beetz, Andrea; Kotrschal, Kurt; Turner, Dennis C.; Hediger, Karin; Uvnäs-Moberg, Kerstin; Julius, Henri. Anthrozoös. 2011 Dec; 24(4): 349-368.

* Childhood Neglect, Attachment to Companion Animals, and Stuffed Animals as Attachment Objects in Women and Men. Barlow, M. Rose; Hutchinson, Cory Anne; Newton, Kelsy; Grover, Tess; Ward, Lindsey. Anthrozoös. 2012 Mar; 25(1): 111-119.

The Role of Animals in Public Child Welfare Work (Chapter 9). Risley-Curtiss, Christina. Pages [126]-141, In.: Linzey, Andrew (editor). The link between animal abuse and human violence. Brighton [England]; Portland, Ore.: Sussex Academic Press, 2009.

The Significance of Human-Animal Relationships as Modulators of Trauma Effects in Children:   A Developmental Neurobiological Perspective.
Yorke, Jan. Early Child Development and Care. 2010 Jun; 180(5): 559-570.

The Influence of Dog Ownership in Childhood on the Sociality of Elderly Japanese Men. Nagasawa, Miho; Ohta, Mitsuaki. Animal Science Journal. 2010 Jun; 81(3): 377-383.

 Indoor Pet Exposure and the Outcomes of Total IgE and Sensitization at Age 18 Years. Wegienka, Ganesa; Johnson, Christine Cole; Havstad, Suzanne; Ownby, Dennis R.; Zoratti, Edward M. Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology. 2010 Aug; 126(2): 274-279, 279.e1-5.

Importance of Bringing Dogs in Contact with Children During Their Socialization Period for Better Behavior. Arai, Sato; Ohtani, Nobuyo; Ohta, Mitsuaki. Journal of Veterinary Medical Science. 2011 Jun; 73(6): 747-752,

Dog Ownership and Adolescent Physical Activity. Sirard, John R.; Patnode, Carrie D.; Hearst, Mary O.; Laska, Melissa N. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2011 Mar; 40(3): 334-337.

Directions in Human-Animal Interaction Research: Child Development, Health, and Therapeutic Interventions. Esposito, Layla; McCune, Sandra; Griffin, James A.; Maholmes, Valerie. Child Development Perspectives. 2011 Sep; 5(3): 205-211.

Learning Emotion Recognition From Canines? Two For The Road. Stetina, Birgit U.; Turner, Karoline; Burger, Eva; Glenk, Lisa M.; McElheney, Julia C.; Handlos, Ursula; Kothgassner, Oswald D. Journal of Veterinary Behavior. 2011 Mar-Apr; 6(2): 108-114.

Improvement In Children's Humaneness Toward Nonhuman Animals Through A Project Of Educational Anthrozoology. Mariti, Chiara; Papi, Francesca; Mengoli, Manuel; Moretti, Graziana; Martelli, Franco; Gazzano, Angelo. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: 2011 Jan-Feb; 6(1): 12-20.

Teachers' Experiences With Humane Education And Animals In The Elementary Classroom: Implications For Empathy Development
. Daly, Beth; Suggs, Suzanne. Journal of Moral Education. 2010 Mar; 39(1): 101-112.

Effect Of Service Dogs On Salivary Cortisol Secretion In Autistic Children. Viau, Robert; Arsenault-Lapierre, Geneviève; Fecteau, Stéphanie; Champagne, Noël; Walker, Claire-Dominique; Lupien, Sonia. Psychoneuroendocrinology. Sep 2010; 35(8):1187-1193.

The Significance Of Human-Animal Relationships As Modulators Of Trauma Effects In Children: A Developmental Neurobiological Perspective. Yorke, Jan. Early Child Development and Care. 2010 Jun; 180(5): 559-570.

Effects Of Having Pets At Home On Children's Attitudes Toward Popular And Unpopular Animals. Prokop, Pavol; Tunnicliffe, Sue Dale. Anthrozöos. 2010 Mar; 23(1): 21-35.

Children In The Living World: Why Animals Matter For Children's Development. Melson, Gail F. p.147-154. IN: Fogel, Alan; King, Barbara J.; Shanker, Stuart G. Human development in the twenty-first century: visionary ideas from systems scientists. New York : Cambridge University Press, c2008. x, 259 p. ; 24 cm.

Social and Individual Components of Animal Contact in Preschool Children. Wedl, M.; Kotrschal, K. Anthrozoös, 2009 Dec; 22(4): 383-396.

Kids, Dogs, and the Occupation of Literacy. Scott, Keri; Haseman, Jean; Hammetter, Rona OT Practice, 2005 Feb 21; 10(3): 16-20.

Is Counseling Going to the Dogs? An Exploratory Study Related to the Inclusion of an Animal in Group Counseling with Adolescents. Lange, Amber M; Cox, Jane A.; Bernert, Donna J; Jenkins, Christie D. Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, 2(2) 2006: 17-31.

Helping Hounds: Does Animal assisted Therapy Improve the Rehabilitation Process? Martindale, Raschelle; Love, Sarah; Abbott, Julie, Bourke, Anne. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 2008 Apr; 50: Supplement 113: 12-13.

Heart Rate Response to Therapeutic Riding in Children with Cerebral Palsy: An Exploratory Study. Dirienzo, Lauren N; Dirienzo, Lee T; Baceski [!], Deborah A. Pediatric Physical Therapy, 2007 Summer; 19(2): 160-165

The Effect of Hippotherapy on Functional Outcomes for Children with Disabilities: A Pilot Study. Murphy, Deirdra; Kahn-D'Angelo, Linda; Gleason, James. Pediatric Physical Therapy. 2008 Fall; 20(3): 264-270.

Cisco's Kids: A Pet Assisted Therapy Behavioral Intervention Program. Cournoyer, Gary P; Uttley, Clarissa. Journal of Emotional Abuse, 2007; 7(3): 117-126.

An Investigation of Human-Animal Interactions and Empathy as Related to Pet Preference, Ownership, Attachment, and Attitudes in Children. Daly, B., Morton L. L. Anthrozoös, 19(2) 2006:113-27. 

Does Dog or Cat Ownership Lead to Increased Gastroenteritis in Young Children in South Australia? Heyworth, J. S., Cutt, H., Glonek, G. Epidemiology and Infection, 134 2006:926-34.

Capitalizing on the Human-Animal Bond to Teach Ethics to Youth. Rusk, C. P., Brubaker, K. M., Balschweid, M. A., Pajor, E. A. New Directions for Youth Development, no.108, 2005 Winter: 45-56.

The Effect of Pet Ownership on the Risk of Allergic Sensitization and Bronchial Asthma. Liccardi, G., D’Amato, G., D’Amato, L., Salzillo, A., Piccolo, A., De Napoli, I., Dente, B., Cazzola, M. Respiratory Medicine, 99(2) 2005 Feb: 227-33.

Children, Pets and Good Health: Reflections on Using an Animal Focused Story-Making Method Within War Trauma Therapy for Children and Young People. Dawson. S.; conference presentation. The SCAS Journal, 2004 Spring; 16(1):12-6.

The Role of Pet Ownership as a Possible Buffer Variable in Traumatic Experience, by L. Arambasic and G. Kerestes.

The Role of Companion Animals in Human Development, by G.F. Melson.

Impact of Keeping Pets at Home Upon the Social Development of Children, by Zuzanna Toeplitz.

The Supportive Role of Pets in the Childhood of Sexual Abuse Survivors, by S.B. Barker, et al.

Relationships Between Young People with Autism and Their Pets, by J. McNicholas and G.M. Collis.

The Relationship Between Attachment to Companion Animals and Self-Concept: A Developmental Perspective, by S.L. Triebenbacher.

Effects of Pet Ownership on the Well-Being of Adolescents with Few Family Resources, by N. M. Bodmer.

Animals as Means of Emotional Support and Companionship for Children Aged 9 to 13 Years Old, by Anne Salomon.


Animals and Children Bibliography

Key References on Human-Animal Interactions for Children

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