Pets May Be Beneficial for Individuals With Autism

Individuals with autism more likely to offer to share and offer comfort after pet arrival

THURSDAY, Aug. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with autism display some improvement in prosocial behaviors after the arrival of a pet in their homes, according to research published online Aug. 1 in PLoS One.

Marine Grandgeorge, Ph.D., of the Centre de Ressources Autisme in Bohars, France, and colleagues conducted a study involving a total of 260 individuals with autism divided into two groups of 12 and two groups of eight who were assigned to one of two studies. In study 1, the effects of a pet arrival after age 5 were compared with having no pet. In study 2, the effects of having a pet versus no pet were examined. Social impairment was assessed using the 36-item Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised parental questionnaire.

The researchers found that, in the pet-arrival-after-age-5 group, two of the 36 items changed positively: offering to share and offering comfort. No significant changes were seen in the having-a-pet-since-birth group. No other significant between-group differences were observed.

"To our knowledge, this is the first study showing an association between pet arrival and changes in prosocial behaviors," the authors write. "Our study follows the footsteps of the human-pet reports on the improvement of prosocial behaviors in individuals with typical development."

Full Text

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Powered by

jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.

Nursing Jobs Plus
Featured Jobs
Recommended CE Articles

Blunt Chest Trauma
Journal of Trauma Nursing, November/December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:2 $21.95

The School Age Child with Congenital Heart Disease
MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2.5 $24.95

Understanding multiple myeloma
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2 $21.95

More CE Articles

Subscribe to Recommended CE

Recommended Nursing Articles

Comprehensive Care: Looking Beyond the Presenting Problem
Journal of Christian Nursing, January/March 2015
Free access will expire on March 2, 2015.

Pain and Alzheimer dementia: A largely unrecognized problem
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.

Glycemic control in hospitalized patients
Nursing2015 Critical Care, January 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.

More Recommended Articles

Subscribe to Recommended Articles

Evidence Based Practice Skin Care Network NursingCenter Quick Links What’s Trending Events