School of Health in Social Science

Relationships with animals & nature

This area of research examines children and adolescents' relationships with animals, attachment to, and care of pets, psychological processes associated with empathy, attitudes & emotion recognition, & children's connectedness with nature.



Childhood attachment to pets

Photograph of girl lying on the grass with a puppy
Our work on the Defra funded projects led to a series of studies examining children's attachments to pets and their impact on mental health/well-being.

Attitudes & emotion recognition

Boy holding cat with adult helping
Projects investigating children's attitudes & ability to recognise animal emotions and welfare states in animals.

Digital Nature

This project explores how children’s digital worlds can be used to create a connection with nature.