Facts and Fictions in Mental Health; June/July 2008; Scientific American Mind; by Scott O. Lilienfeld And Hal Arkowitz; 2 Page(s)
In 1857 British novelist George Eliot wrote, ¿Animals are such agreeable friends. They ask no questions and they pass no criticism.¿ So it is no surprise that scholars have long been intrigued by the possibility that animals possess largely untapped therapeutic powers. But are animals good for our psychological and physical health, either as pets or as ¿therapists¿?
Most Americans are animal lovers; about 63 percent of U.S. households contain one or more pets, according to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association. Several, but not all, studies suggest that those of us who own pets tend to be somewhat happier than those of us who do not. In addition, research by Erika Friedmann and her colleagues at the University of Maryland School of Nursing shows that pet ownership predicts one-year survival rates among victims of heart attacks.