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Good Housekeeping
Belle Yambao, Contributor
August 02, 2011

New Study: Pets Are Good for Your Mental Health

You don't have to be depressed to derive joy from your furry friends. By Belle Yambao
pet_extra.jpgPrevious studies have shown that pets can help harried owners deal with stress, but according to a new study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, you don't have to be ill or depressed to benefit from being a pet owner.

The results of three separate experiments done by psychologists at Miami University and Saint Louis University  showed that pets provide emotional and social support for "everyday people." Among the methods they used was a survey for pet owners, which helped them understand owners' personality traits. In a separate experiment, they also found out that owners who said their pets boosted their self-esteem had better mental health.

"We observed evidence that pet owners fared better, both in terms of well-being outcomes and individual differences, than non-owners on several dimensions,” Dr. Allen R. McConnell of Miami University, one of the lead researchers, is quoted as saying. “Specifically, pet owners had greater self-esteem, were more physically fit, tended to be less lonely, were more conscientious, were more extroverted, tended to be less fearful and tended to be less preoccupied than non-owners."

What other benefits do pet owners get from their furry friends? Check out these articles:

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