Factors that impact grieving following the loss of an animal companion
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Pet loss is a common occurrence. Previous literature on pet loss specifically examines attachment strength; however, this study also investigated attachment style. One hundred fifteen participants recruited from college classrooms, listservs, and social networking sites completed demographic questionnaires, the Lexington Attachment to Pets Scale (Johnson, Garrity, & Stallones, 1992), Core Bereavement Items (B~ett, Middleton, Raphael, & Martinek, 1997), and a modified Experiences in Close Relationships - Revised (Fraley, Waller, & Brennan, 2000). It was expected that loss type ( death and non-death) would positively correlate with grief levels and insecure attachment would negatively correlate with grief intensity; however; a multiple regression revealed that anxious attachment style correlated to weaker attachment strength and not grief whereas avoidant attachment had no relationship to any variable. As expected, participants' stronger pet attachment correlated with greater grief. A posthoc analysis showed that more time since the pet losses eased the grief felt by owners.