BY MOLLY BROWN on November 27, 2015
Dogs reduce anxiety in kids
A new study reviewed by NBC News found that children in homes with a friendly dog “score far lower on clinical measures of anxiety.” Only 12 percent of the children with dogs tested positive for clinical anxiety, vs. 21 percent of kids from houses without a dog.
According to Dr. Harold Levinson, this interesting study demonstrates that childrens’ mental health is as favorably impacted by dogs as previously found for adults. Although it’s possible that less anxious children choose dogs, it appears significantly more likely that pet dogs make children less anxious. The latter is consistent with what Dr. Anne Gadomski and colleagues wrote in their published findings: “From a mental health standpoint, children aged 7 to 8 often ranked pets higher than humans as providers of comfort, self-esteem and as confidants.” It may well be that pet dogs may prove to be a significant side-effect free adjunct to other anxiety therapies for children while providing them with fun and companionship.
About Dr. Harold Levinson
Formerly Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at New York University Medical Center, Dr. Harold Levinson is currently Director of the Levinson Medical Center for Learning Disabilities in Long Island, New York. He is a well-known neuropsychiatrist, clinical researcher and author. For more information, call 1(800)334-7323 or
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