Filling the void: A descriptive study of the process of attachment between elderly people and their pets
AuthorCookman, Craig Alan
AdvisorPergrin, Jesse V.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractA descriptive study using grounded theory methodology proposed to explore the process of attachment between elders and their pet dogs. Five informants aged sixty-one to eighty-four participated in the study. Eleven interviews provided data for analysis. Data analysis revealed a process where elderly informants reported 'something missing' in their lives previous to pet ownership. Pet adoption provided 'someone' to communicate with, 'someone' to come to know and understand, and 'someone' to be with and share everyday life. Filling the Void emerged as the core concept describing these processes. Further research requires a larger sample to allow more thorough theoretical sampling and subsequent variation in the data. Implications of this research for nursing practice include the need for nurses to be alert to the possibility a pet may be functioning as an attachment figure in the life of an older adult.
Degree ProgramGraduate College