Year of Publication

2007

Document Type

Thesis

College

Agriculture

Department

Family Studies

First Advisor

Jason Hans

Abstract

Research suggests that a multidimensional approach to obesity that addresses physiological, psychological, social, and environmental factors is optimal. Stress and self-esteem, as well as eating and exercise behaviors have been named as important factors in obesity. Curiously, although pets have been shown to reduce stress and are associated with higher self-esteem and cardiovascular health, the relationship between pet ownership and weight status has not been explored. A path analysis of the direct and indirect effects of pet ownership on stress, self-esteem, physical activity, eating behavior, and Body Mass Index failed to reveal a clear path linking pet ownership to weight status.

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