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Social and emotional research paper

Social and emotional research paper - 1 Dear Editor I was...

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Dear Editor, I was pleased when I encountered your article “My Best Friend” while reading through a recent Parenting Magazine. While it is mostly common knowledge that children love and form specials bonds with their pets there is not enough credit or research done on the effect animals have on a child’s development. As stated in your article, animals provide numerous forms of stability, nurture and learning tools that are beneficial to all children during their developing years. I felt the previous chapters were nicely touched upon in your article, although I do believe there is room for expansion on this topic. It has been reported that 70% of all households with children younger than the age of six and 78% of households with children over the age of six have pets and when these children are asked who their best friends is they will respond with no hesitation that they consider their pet to be either their best friend or more important than their human best friend (Melson, 2003, p.32). Considering these statistics it is surprising that more research has not been done on the relationships between child development and pets, especially due to the fact that several theories such as the dynamic systems theory, Bowlby’s theory of attachment and relationship psychology all base children’s development within the context of important relationship bonds. This should also hold true now considering that research from a national sample shows that to date a family with one child will more likely have a pet for their only child rather than a younger sibling (Melson, 2001, p.12). 1
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Animals have not only shown to be a good source of companionship, research has also shown that they have an impact in areas of social, emotional, cognitive and perceptual development. Past research done by Eleanor Gibson (1988) on perceptual development ties in nicely when describing the impact that animals have on a child’s perceptual development (p.51). Within Melson’s article (2003), Gibson states that during the first year of life children can begin to differentiate the movement of a living thing and the movement of an inanimate object and during this stage of life animals prove to be an important source of curiosity and perceptual interest to young children and are able to sustain their attention for extended periods of time ( p.33).
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