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Stressed Out? Get a Pet

Feeling stressed out? New research suggests the benefit of getting a pet for college students:

Students who chose to live with at least one dog, one cat, or a combination of the two were less likely to report feeling lonely and depressed; something they directly attributed to their beloved pet.

While previous research has shown that pets help many specific populations (such as people with a chronic illness, senior citizens, and people who live alone), this is the first study to show this effect is also present in young adults.

Freshmen and sophomores, especially, are at risk for loneliness and stress, as they are just establishing their college social network. And while online social networks help the transition for many, face-to-face friends are often just as important to help a person feel less alone.

A cat, dog, or a combination of the two can help reduce the feelings of loneliness and accompanying stress.

So if you’re still wondering to get that college student for Christmas, consider a pet! (keeping in mind, of course, that most dorms don’t allow them, which is a shame given this study’s findings).

Read the full article: Pets Relieve College Stress

Stressed Out? Get a Pet

John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Dr. John Grohol is the founder & CEO of Psych Central. He is an author, researcher and expert in mental health online, and has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues -- as well as the intersection of technology and human behavior -- since 1992. Dr. Grohol sits on the editorial board of the journal Computers in Human Behavior and is a founding board member and treasurer of the Society for Participatory Medicine. He writes regularly and extensively on mental health concerns, the intersection of technology and psychology, and advocating for greater acceptance of the importance and value of mental health in today's society. You can learn more about Dr. John Grohol here.

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APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2018). Stressed Out? Get a Pet. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 19, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
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