Children With Pets Have Less Anxiety

Children With Pets Have Less Anxiety


It's official, according to a new study from Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, New York.

“Kids who have a pet to cuddle up with at night, talk to, and play with by day are less likely to suffer from anxiety”

Anxiety disorders affect one in eight children in the US, (source National Institute of Mental Health) and affect 40 million adults 18 and older — about 18 percent of the population. It is considered to be the most common mental illness of all.

CBS reported the following about the new research,

Researchers currently indicate that if any childhood anxiety disorder goes untreated, there is a higher risk of poorer school performances, and kids are also more likely to miss out on key social experiences

Childhood anxiety is a huge mental health problem in the U.S. and anything we can do to mitigate anxiety or prevent its development would have a huge impact on the mental health system in the United States,” Gadomski said.

The idea for the research came about in part by Gadomski's observations as a practicing pediatrician for the past three decades. “I've always been impressed with how a baby's first words are often a pet's name,” she said. “Or when a pet dies, we see there's this incredible attachment there with children.”

Gadomski, who is a dog owner herself, said she is interested in looking at pets and childhood mental health from a preventive health angle.

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The study included 370 kids with dogs and 273 kids who didn't have one.

The study found that 58% of children with a dog in the home, 12% tested positive on a screening test for anxiety, compared with 21% of children who did not have a pet dog.


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Children With Pets Have Less Anxiety


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