Research Topic

Children and Companion Animals: Psychosocial, Medical, and Neurobiological Implications

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About this Research Topic

Children and companion animals seem to have a natural affinity towards each other. Most children want to have a relationship with their own pet or at least interact with animals. Companion animal ownerships or interactions with animals may have psychosocial, neurobiological, or medically relevant effects on ...

Children and companion animals seem to have a natural affinity towards each other. Most children want to have a relationship with their own pet or at least interact with animals. Companion animal ownerships or interactions with animals may have psychosocial, neurobiological, or medically relevant effects on typically developing children and others with diverse and special needs (e.g., juveniles), but also on the involved animal. In this Research Topic we welcome manuscripts - original research or reviews – that concern any of the above mentioned topics, including effects of companion animal ownership and/or interaction on cognitive, social, and emotional development of children and juveniles, on play and exercise of children, virtual pets, attitudes towards animals, effects of animal assisted interventions (AAI, see definitions by IAHAIO; www.iahaio.org White Paper) involving children and juveniles (also Green Care with animals), dog phobia, dog bite prevention, loss and grieving, zoonoses and allergies, gut health, immune system. We also welcome contributions focusing on the animal side of the relationship or interaction, relating to animal behavior, neurobiology, health, etc. Methods of original research can be quantitative or qualitative.

We aim at compiling an overview of the different aspects of children and companion animals and encourage authors from diverse backgrounds such as medicine, veterinary medicine, nursing, psychology, social work, rehabilitation, education, special education, biology, ethology, neurobiology, humanities, and health sciences to consider submitting a manuscript.


Keywords: children, companion animals, animal-assisted intervention, human-animal interaction, animal-assisted therapy


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