Development of a measure of positive and negative aspects of dog owners' attachment to their pets

Paola Nayeli Balcazar Soto, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

This thesis describes the development of the Assessment of Dog Owners' Behaviors and Experiences, Version I (ADOBE-I), a multi-scale measure of positive and negative aspects of dog ownership. In Study 1 a pool of 265 items was administered online to 352 participants on Mechanical Turk (M-Turk). Exploratory Factor Analysis of responses was used to construct the ADOBE-I, which includes 58 items and five scales, Dog-Owner Bond, Legal Problems, Hostile Dog, Obedient Dog, and Care for Dog's Health, and one supplemental scale, Dog as Child. In Study 2 the psychometric properties of the ADOBE-I scales were examined in a sample of 96 participants on M-Turk. All ADOBE-I scales except one were found to have adequate to excellent internal reliability. Supporting concurrent validity, the ADOBE-I scales were found to be substantially and meaningfully correlated with other existing pet measures. A series of hypotheses were tested as to why some people develop problematic attachments to their dogs. Contrary to a prediction based on the hoarding theory of dog-owner attachment, the length of time of dog ownership was not significantly correlated with the dog-owner bond. Furthermore, attachment to a dog was not significantly correlated with feelings of loneliness. Lastly, some of the ADOBE-I scales were found to be correlated with the Big Five personality traits. Specifically, the ADOBE-I Care for Dog's Health scale was found to be positively correlated with Conscientiousness, and the ADOBE-I Legal Problems scale and Hostile Dog scale were negatively correlated with Openness and Agreeableness. The ADOBE-2, a revision of the ADOBE-I with several new scales, is also introduced.^

Subject Area

Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

Balcazar Soto, Paola Nayeli, "Development of a measure of positive and negative aspects of dog owners' attachment to their pets" (2016). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10151204.
http://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAI10151204

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