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Exploring risk propensity through pet-attachment diversity in natural hazard contexts

journal contribution
posted on 13.09.2018, 00:00 by Joshua Trigg, Kirrilly ThompsonKirrilly Thompson, Bradley SmithBradley Smith, P Bennett
This review examines the perceptual and behavioural influences that pet-attachment has on the ways in which owners view risk, appraise threat, and respond to environmental hazards. Understanding how human-companion animal relationships function in this context has profound implications for the welfare of both people and their animals. Despite originating from human-attachment models, current perspectives on relationships with companion animals commonly adopt a unidimensional view of pet-attachment as a singular bond. This bypasses important aspects of attachment, ignoring the diversity evident in these relationships and, consequently, differences in risk processes. We argue that by adopting a pet-attachment 'communities' model that more closely approximates human-attachment theory, a nuanced understanding of perceptual and behavioural risk propensities that distinguishes between different types of 'stronger' and 'weaker' or insecure attachments can be achieved. We consider how research regarding pet- and human-attachment can be used to identify potential communities of the pet-attached. A community perspective upon pet-owner risk propensity will contribute to a social-ecological understanding of these relationships as potential protective factors when confronting environmental threats. Finally, we propose that future research relating to pet-attachment can benefit from current human-attachment findings regarding the wider social nature of attachment relationships.

Funding

Category 3 - Industry and Other Research Income

History

Volume

4

Issue

1

Start Page

54

End Page

81

Number of Pages

28

ISSN

2333-522X

Publisher

American Psychological Association, USA

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

External Author Affiliations

La Trobe University

Author Research Institute

Appleton Institute

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin