‘Mum cleaned it and I just played with it’: Children’s perceptions of their roles and responsibilities in the care of family pets

Janine Muldoon, Joanne Williams, Alistair Lawrence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Understanding how best to nurture children’s respect for, and care of, other living beings is a concern within education and animal welfare science. Relationships with individual animals are often seen as a ‘bridge’ to caring about the broader environment (of people, animals and ecosystems). However, little is known about children’s actual care of the animals they know best. Focus groups explored 7- to 13-year-olds’ caring activities and sense of responsibility to care for family pets, with findings highlighting the strong influence of parental roles and restrictions, the significance of play as a form of care and reluctance to take responsibility.
Original languageEnglish
JournalChildhood
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2014

Keywords

  • Children, animals, pets, care, responsibility

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