Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Degree Level



Psychological Science


Chapman, Kate

Committee Member/Reader

Zies, Brenda

Committee Member/Second Reader

Payne, Whitney

Committee Member/Third Reader

Clay, Matt


The COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented event in most people’s lives across the entire world. There has not been an event in recent history that has affected the globe in a similar way. This has created a unique opportunity to study the stress that this global event has caused. This exploratory study sought to examine the interplay between stress experience by participants during the COVID-19 pandemic and various aspects of pet ownership. A sample of 743 adult participants was asked to complete several self-report, online measures about their experiences with stress, pets, and interpersonal closeness during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey combined demographic questions, researcher-created Likert-scale questions and several existing validated measures to explore participants’ experiences in the pandemic. Results indicated that there was a link between pet ownership and COVID-19 pandemic related stress. Contrary to what was hypothesized, greater attachment to one’s pet was positively correlated with higher levels of COVID-19 stress. However, there was also a positive correlation between strength of pet attachment and the perception that having a pet during the pandemic reduced one’s stress level. Female participants were seen to have higher levels of pet attachment overall and overall higher levels of COVID-19 stress. An especially interesting finding was that pet-owners reported significantly higher levels of interpersonal connectedness with their pet than either friends or family. A variety of demographic variables (gender, living status, race/ethnicity, and age) also affected COVID-19 stress, pet attachment and interpersonal closeness ratings. Future work will analyze qualitative, free response written statements from participants about the above-mentioned variables.


Pet Attachment, COVID-19, Pet Ownership, Pandemic, Pandemic Stress, Stress

Available for download on Monday, May 05, 2025