08 Jul 2019

Pet study by Brisbane researchers asks if animals make us better people

Does having a pet in your life make you a better person?

It's a big question Brisbane researchers are trying to answer as they look to create new programs for Queensland parents.

Mum of two Marisa Sinn-Dorfeld loves rescue chihuahuas Spottie and Chia.

And daughter Ninah is following in her footsteps.

A park walk is a part of a decade-long tradition for their family - but it's also teaching 14-year-old Ninah vital life lessons.

"It just teaches them to be kind, to be loving and accepting," Ms Sinn-Dorfeld said.

Researchers from The University of Queensland Parent and Families Support Centre want to know more - to see how the family pet shapes the lives of young children into adulthood.

The centre's Dr Kylie Burke said pets were more important than we realised.

"Pets play an important part as well, but how does the family shape how kids care for and think about animals," she said.

Researchers are aiming to use the results to create better education plans and resources for Queensland parents.

They're focusing on how pets protect, nurture and even teach kids throughout their childhood.

Ms Sinn-Dorfeld already knows the important part animals play in her kids' lives.

"They're everywhere, we've actually called them the kid's brothers and sisters, they're just family, they do everything," she said.

Researchers want to hear from parents with children aged between seven and 12.

The study involves a quick online survey which can be found here.

SOURCE ; https://www.9news.com.au/national/pet-study-researchers-in-brisbane-ask-if-animals-make-people-better-news-queensland/932078e8-a56f-411e-a8b2-15391f67f95e

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