This major work summarizes the recent research and findings on the interactions of pets and their owners and the social and emotional benefits that may be derived by families who have pets. Social and health scientists explore the pervasiveness of the animal/human bond and the high prevalence of pets in U.S. households, including pets and children, pets and the elderly, pets as factors of stability and instability in family relationships, and pets as therapy for ill, grieving, and disabled family members. With this carefully researched book, researchers and family health professionals can better understand the complexities of family/animal interaction and can pursue further study into this increasingly important subject in contemporary society.
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