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The Short Attachment to Pets Scale (SAPS) for Children and Young People: Development, Psychometric Qualities and Demographic and Health Associations

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  • Ferran Marsa-Sambola

    (University of St Andrew)

  • Janine Muldoon

    (University of St Andrew)

  • Joanne Williams

    (University of Edinburgh)

  • Alistair Lawrence

    (Scotland’s Rural College)

  • Melanie Connor

    (Scotland’s Rural College)

  • Candace Currie

    (University of St Andrew)

Abstract

This study describes the development of the SAPS and investigates its reliability and validity within the context of the Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children Survey (HBSC) which gathered data on representative samples of school pupils aged 11, 13 and 15 in Scotland and England. In the development of SAPS, following a comprehensive review of the literature, two small-scale empirical studies were carried out (one qualitative and one quantitative). Regarding the validation process, the reliability and validity of the SAPS was assessed in a sub-sample (n = 7159) of pupils who completed the HBSC survey and were identified as owning pets. Factor analysis resulted in a one-factor solution (explaining 67.78 % of the variance); Cronbach’s alpha for the scale was 0.894. The item-total correlation ranged from 0.368 to 0.784. A linear model showed that attachment to pets was associated with age (being 11 or 13 years old), being a girl, white ethnicity, and considering a pet as one’s own. SAPS scores were also positively associated with quality of life. The total variance in SAPS explained by these variables was 15.7 %. Effect sizes of associations were medium (age, considering a pet as one’s own) and small (ethnicity, age, gender, quality of life). The study concludes that SAPS is a coherent and psychometrically sound measure. It is associated with a range of demographic variables and quality of life, which confirms its utility as a new succinct measure of children’s and young people’s attachment to pets for use in health and social science research.

Suggested Citation

  • Ferran Marsa-Sambola & Janine Muldoon & Joanne Williams & Alistair Lawrence & Melanie Connor & Candace Currie, 2016. "The Short Attachment to Pets Scale (SAPS) for Children and Young People: Development, Psychometric Qualities and Demographic and Health Associations," Child Indicators Research, Springer;The International Society of Child Indicators (ISCI), vol. 9(1), pages 111-131, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:chinre:v:9:y:2016:i:1:d:10.1007_s12187-015-9303-9
    DOI: 10.1007/s12187-015-9303-9
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bruce Headey & Markus Grabka, 2007. "Pets and Human Health in Germany and Australia: National Longitudinal Results," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 80(2), pages 297-311, January.
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    3. Bruce Headey, 1999. "Health Benefits and Health Cost Savings Due to Pets: Preliminary Estimates from an Australian National Survey," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 47(2), pages 233-243, June.
    4. Currie, Candace & Molcho, Michal & Boyce, William & Holstein, Bjørn & Torsheim, Torbjørn & Richter, Matthias, 2008. "Researching health inequalities in adolescents: The development of the Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC) Family Affluence Scale," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(6), pages 1429-1436, March.
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