Examining demographic and psychosocial predictors of well-being in older pet owners

  • Cheryl A. Krause-Parello College of Nursing University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus ED 2 North 13120 E. 19th Avenue, Aurora, CO 80045
  • Elsie Gulick Rutgers University
Keywords: Nursing, well-being, older adults

Abstract

Background: Worldwide, older adults represent a significant proportion of the total population. Due to the international increase in the numbers of aging adults over the next several decades, it is important for nurses to assist this populace in aspects of healthy aging. There are known indicators of well-being both positive and negative that influence aging.

Objective: The objective of this study was to examine seven models consisting of demographic and psychosocial predictors of well-being among older adults.

Population: This quantitative descriptive design included 209 older pet-owning adults whose age ranged from 48 to 93 (M = 71.66; SD 9.14). The participants were recruited from senior housing facilities designed for older adults or attended a senior citizen community center.

Methods: Participants completed a demographics form and a loneliness, pet attachment, social support, and well-being scale. Demographic and psychosocial predictors of well-being were examined using hierarchical regression analysis (p < .05).

Results: The results revealed that age, gender, education, health, loneliness due to the loss, pet type, loneliness, social support, and pet attachment were significant predictors.

Interpretation: Older adults are at risk for less than optimal well-being due to situational factors such as loneliness and alternations in social support due to natural life transitions. Since well-being is a multidimensional construct that affects the world’s people it is important for nurses to investigate its components.

Conclusion: Internationally, nursing is focused on maintaining positive health and well-being throughout the lifespan. The findings supported both positive and negative components influence well-being. Appropriate interventions should be selected based on positive or negative predictors. Implications for clinical application are discussed.

References

References

Albert, A., & Bulcroft, K. (1988). Pets, families, and the life course. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 50, 543-552.

Amirkhan, J. H. (1990). A factor analytically derived measure of coping: The coping strategy indicator. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 59(5), 1066-1074.

Baro, F. K., Huss-Ashmore, R., Wittink, M. N., Murray, G. F., Bogner, H. R., & Gallo, J. J. (2006). A mixed-methods approach to understanding loneliness and depression in older adults. The Journals of Gerontology, Series B, 61(6), S329-S339.

Bradburn, N. M. (1969). The structure of psychological WB. Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company.

Brown, S. E. (2004). The Human-Animal Bond and Self Psychology: Toward a New Understanding. Society & Animals 12(1), 67-86.

Campbell, A. (1981). The sense of WB in America: Recent patterns and trends. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company.Center for Disease Control (CDC, n.d.). Promoting Active LifestylesAmong Older Adults.

Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/physical/pdf/lifestyles.pdf

Clark Cline, K. M. (2010). Psychological effects of dog ownership: Role strain, role enhancement, and depression. The Journal of Social Psychology,150(2), 117-131.

Cohen-Mansfield, J. & Parpura-Gill, A. (2007). Loneliness in older persons: A theoretical model and empirical findings. International Psychogeriatrics,19(2), 279-294.

Crowne, D., & Marlowe, D. (1964). The approval motive. New York: Wiley.

Cummings , S. M. (2002). Predictors of psychological well-being among assisted-living residents. Health & Social Work 27(4) , 293-302.

Diener, E. (1984). Subjective WB. Psychological Bulletin, 95, 542-575.

Downs, C. C., & Javidi, M. (1990). Linking communication motives to loneliness in the lives of older adults: An empirical test of interpersonal needs and gratifications. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 18(1), 32-48.

Duckworth, A. L., Steen, T. A., Seligman, M.E.P. ( 2005). Positive psychology in clinical practice. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology 1, 629–651.

Dupuy, H. J. (1984). The psychological WB (PGWB) index. In N. K. Wenger, M. E. Mattson, C. D. Furberg, & J. Elinson (Eds.), Assessment of quality of life in clinical trials of cardiovascular therapies (pp. 170-183). New York: Le

Jacq Publishing, Inc.

Duvall Antonacopoulos, N. M., Pychyl, T. A., (2010). An examination of the potential role of pet ownership, human social support and pet attachment in the psychological health of individuals living alone. Anthrozoos, 23(1), 37-54.

Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics. Older Americans 2012: Key Indicators of Well-Being. Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Friedmann, E. & Thomas, S. A. (1995). Pet ownership, social support, and one-year survival after acute myocardial infarction in the cardiac arrhythmia suppression trial (CAST). American Journal of Cardiology, 76, 1213-1217.

Golden, J., Conroy, R. M., Bruce, I., Denihan, A., Greene, E. Kirby, M., & Lawlor, B. A. (2009). Loneliness, social support networks, moos, and wellbeing in community-dwelling elderly. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 24, 694-700.

Author (2012).

Hawley, L.C., & Cacioppo, J. T. (2010). Loneliness matters: A theoretical and empirical review of the consequences and mechanisms. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 40, 418-227.

Knight, S. & Edwards, V. (2008). In the company of wolves: The physical, social, and psychological benefits of dog ownership. Journal of Aging and Health, 20, 437-255.

Author (in press).

Author (2012).

Author (2008).

Author (2007).

Leiderman P.H. (1969). Loneliness: A psychodynamic interpretation. In: Shneidman E.S., Ortega M.J., (Eds.). Aspects of Depression. Great Britain, London: J & A Churchill LTD, 155-174.

Levkoff, S. E., Cleary, P. D., & Wetle, T. (1987). Differences in the appraisal of health between aged and middle-aged adults. Journal of Gerontology, 42, 114-120.

McNicholas, J., Gilbey, A., Rennie, A., Ahmedzai, S., Dono, J. & Ormerod, E. (2005). Pet ownership and human health: A brief review of evidence and issues. British Medical Journal,331 (7527), 1252-1254.

Myers, D. G., & Diener, E. (1995). Who is happy? Psychological Science, 6, 10-19.

Nguyen, Y., Chng, C., Vosvick, M. A., & Perales, M. (2010). Correlates of Vitality in HIV+ Adults: Perceived Social Support and Life Regard. UNT Digital Library. Retrieved http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93285/.

Pachana, N. (2007). Pets as social support. Nursing Older People,19(1), 3.

Perissinotto, C. M., Cenzer, I. S., & Covinsky, K.E. (2012). Loneliness in older persons: A predictor of functional death and decline. Archives of Internal Medicine, 172(14), 1078-1084.

Pilkington, P.D., Windsor, T.D., & Crisp, D.A. (2012) Volunteering and subjective well-being in older adulthood: The role of supportive social networks. Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 67B(2), 249-260.

Polit, D. F. & Beck, C. T. (2012). Nursing Research: Generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice. (9th ed.). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Poulin, J., Deng, R., Ingersoll, T. S., Witt, H. & Swain, M. (2012). Perceived family and friend support and the psychological well-being of American and Chinese elderly persons. Journal of Cross Cultural Gerontology, 27, 305-317.

Prosser, L., Townsend, M. & Staiger, P. (2008). Older people’s relationships with companion animals: A pilot study. Nursing Older People, 20(3), 29-32.

Routasalo, P. E., Tilvis, R. S., Kautiainen, H., & Pitkala, K. H. (2008). Effects of psychosocial group rehabilitation on social functioning, loneliness and well-being of lonely, older people: randomized control trial. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 65, 297-305.

Russell, D. (1982). The measurement of loneliness. In L. A. Peplau, & D. Perlman (Eds.), Loneliness: A sourcebook of current theory, research and therapy (pp. 81- 104). New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Russell, D., Peplau, L. A., & Cutrona, C. E. (1980). The revised UCLA Loneliness Scale: Concurrent and discriminant validity evidence. Journal of Personality and

Social Psychology, 39(3), 472-480.

Sable, P. (1995). Pets, attachment, and well-being across the life cycle. Social Work, 40(3), 334-341.

Singh, A., & Misra, N. (2009). Loneliness, depression and sociability in old age. Industrial. Psychiatry Journal,18(1), 51-55.

Souter, M. A. & Miller, M. D. (2007). Do animal-assisted activities effectively treat depression? A meta-analysis. Anthrozoos, 20(2), 167-180.

Tabachnick, G. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2007). Experimental Designs Using ANOVA. Belmont, CA: Duxbury.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2013). Health-Related Quality of Life and Well-Being. Retrieved from http://healthypeople.gov/2020/about/QoLWBabout.aspx

U.S. Department of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration (2010). The Next Four Decades The Older Population in the United States: 2010 to 2050 from

http://www.aoa.gov/aoaroot/aging_statistics/future_growth/DOCS/p25-1138.pdf

Walsh, F. (2009). Human-animal bonds I: The relational significance of companion animals. Family Process, 48(4), 462-480.

Ware J. E., Johnson S.A., Davies AR, et al.(1979). Conceptualization and measurement of health

for adults in the health insurance study, Vol. III. Santa Monica, CA: Rand Corporation.

Weiss, R.S. (1969). The fund of sociability. Trans-Action. July/Aug, 36-43.

Weiss, R. S. (1973). Loneliness: The experience of emotional and social isolation. Cambridge: The MIT Press.

Weiss, R. S. (1974). The provisions of social relationships. In Z. Rubin (Ed.), Doing unto others (pp. 17-26). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Wilson, C., & Moulton, B. (2010). Loneliness Among Older Adults: A National Survey of Adults 45+. Prepared by Knowledge Networks and Insight Policy Research. Washington, DC: AAR Retrieved from: http://assets.aarp.org/rgcenter/general/loneliness_2010.pdf.

World Health Organization (2011). What are the public health implications of global ageing?From http://www.who.int/features/qa/42/en/index.html

Published
2015-01-28
Section
Mental Health Nursing