SEOUL, Oct. 7 (Korea Bizwire) — A recent study has revealed that people who are more friendly to their pets are less likely to suffer from depression.
A joint research team from Seoul National University Graduate School of Public Health and the College of Veterinary Medicine announced on Saturday the results of a survey conducted on 654 pet owners in their 20s and 30s living in Seoul.
For some time, researchers have been divided over the question of whether raising a pet helps prevent depression.
While some argued that the interaction with pets stimulates the secretion of oxytocin in the human body, which is beneficial to mental health, others claimed that raising a pet has no beneficial effect whatsoever.
The team distributed a questionnaire that included 18 questions developed to assess whether the respondent was friendly or unfriendly to his/her pet, and derive its correlation with depression based on the total score.
The results showed that 54 percent of the respondents were suffering from mild depression.
The survey inquired as to whether respondents liked to keep their pets at home, if they thought raising a pet was a waste of money, and other similar questions on how much they cared for their pets.
The group of respondents ‘unfriendly’ to their pets with a total score below the median were 3.19 times more likely to suffer from depression than the ‘friendly’ group with a total score above the median.
“The study shows that raising a pet may or may not improve the owner’s mental health, depending on the attitude of the owner towards his/her pet,” said the research team.
D. M. Park (firstname.lastname@example.org)