Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Herb Shon, PhD, MSW, LCSW


The problem statement is: Does pet ownership contribute to social work student’s mental health as indicated by stress levels? The significance of this study is that further studies must be conducted in order to determine if there are long term benefits between human and animal interactions. In the research, there are many limitations that we explore because each study was done on a specific campus, or on a selective study body, or on an animal owner or non-animal owner. The research design used for the study was a quantitative survey design on Qualtrics that was sent to all the students in the social work programs at a university in southern California via email by the Administrative Support Coordinator. Permission to conduct this study was obtained on November 22, 2019 from the director of the school of social work. The findings of the study showed that 43 participants had moderate stress, and 16 participants had low stress. Of these 59 participants only 12 of them did not have a pet in their home. This indicated that most students have a moderate to low stress level. Future research that can be conducted would be to look more into the stress levels of a social work student before and after they interact with a pet for an extended period.

Included in

Social Work Commons