Home About Browse Search
Svenska


Psychosocial and psychophysiological effects of human-animal interactions: the possible role of oxytocin

Beetz, Andrea and Uvnäs-Moberg, Kerstin and Julius, Henri and Kotrschal, Kurt (2012). Psychosocial and psychophysiological effects of human-animal interactions: the possible role of oxytocin. Frontiers in Psychology. 3, 1-15
[Journal article]

[img]
Preview
PDF
593kB

Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00234

Abstract

During the last decade it has become more widely accepted that pet ownership and animal assistance in therapy and education may have a multitude of positive effects on humans. Here, we review the evidence from 69 original studies on human-animal interactions (HAI) which met our inclusion criteria with regard to sample size, peer-review, and standard scientific research design. Among the well-documented effects of HAI in humans of different ages, with and without special medical, or mental health conditions are benefits for: social attention, social behavior, interpersonal interactions, and mood; stress-related parameters such as cortisol, heart rate, and blood pressure; self-reported fear and anxiety; and mental and physical health, especially cardiovascular diseases. Limited evidence exists for positive effects of HAI on: reduction of stress-related parameters such as epinephrine and norepinephrine; improvement of immune system functioning and pain management; increased trustworthiness of and trust toward other persons; reduced aggression; enhanced empathy and improved learning. We propose that the activation of the oxytocin system plays a key role in the majority of these reported psychological and psychophysiological effects of HAI. Oxytocin and HAI effects largely overlap, as documented by research in both, humans and animals, and first studies found that HAI affects the oxytocin system. As a common underlying mechanism, the activation of the oxytocin system does not only provide an explanation, but also allows an integrative view of the different effects of HAI.

Authors/Creators:Beetz, Andrea and Uvnäs-Moberg, Kerstin and Julius, Henri and Kotrschal, Kurt
Title:Psychosocial and psychophysiological effects of human-animal interactions: the possible role of oxytocin
Series/Journal:Frontiers in Psychology (1664-1078)
Year of publishing :2012
Volume:3
Page range:1-15
Number of Pages:15
Publisher:Frontiers research foundation
ISSN:1664-1078
Language:English
Additional Information:This document is protected by copyright and was first published by Frontiers. All rights reserved. It is reproduced with permission.
Publication Type:Journal article
Refereed:Yes
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:L Animal production > L01 Animal husbandry
L Animal production > L52 Animal physiology - Growth and development
X Agricola extesions > X30 Life sciences
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Agricultural Science
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 403 Veterinary Science > Medical Bioscience
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 3 Medical and Health Sciences > 301 Basic Medicine > Physiology
Keywords:human-animal interaction , animal-assisted interventions, animal-assisted therapy, oxytocin, pet ownership, stress reduction
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-1515
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-1515
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00234
ID Code:10563
Department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:27 Jun 2013 12:45
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 11:01

Repository Staff Only: item control page

Downloads

Downloads per year (since September 2012)

View more statistics

Downloads
Hits