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Death Stud. 2016;40(4):247-55. doi: 10.1080/07481187.2015.1128499. Epub 2015 Dec 17.

"My pet has passed": Relations of adult attachment styles and current feelings of grief and trauma after the event.

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a Psychology Department , Acadia University , Wolfville , Nova Scotia , Canada.


This study examined attachment relationships and emotional distress after the passing of a pet. Participants were 73 university students 17-26 years of age who had lost a family pet within the past 5 years. They completed measures of attachment styles toward people and their pet, as well as complicated grief, depression, and trauma. As hypothesized, there were positive relations between attachments with people and pets, and anxiety in pet attachment was positively related to complicated grief, even when attachment with people was controlled. Results are discussed in terms of the importance of attachment style to grief over loss.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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