Attachment to Dogs and Cats in Germany. Translation of the Lexington Attachment to Pets Scale (LAPS) and description of the pet owning population in Germany

Hielscher, B.1, 2; Gansloßer, U.2; Froboese, I.1

1 Institute of Health Promotion and Clinical Movement Science, German Sport University Cologne, Germany
2 Institute of Systematic Zoology and Evolutionary Biology with Phyletic Museum

Introduction: Attachment to pets has been shown to impact pet owners’ (PO) physical health and quality of life. As no instrument for obtaining this kind of data currently exists in German, translating and validating the Lexington Attachment to Pets Scale (LAPS) was the aim of this study.

Method: Online and paper-pencil questionnaires were used. LAPS and socio-demographic data were recorded. Subjects were recruited via social media and with the help of the Verband für das deutsche Hundewesen (VDH) and one other association. A second trial was performed to examine test-retest reliability for the online questionnaire at least five days after initial completion.

Results: Internal consistency is high for the total LAPS score (Cronbach’s a = .89). Test‑retest reliability is high for total LAPS score (ICC = .95; 95 % CI = .94, .96; p < .001). A significant negative correlation was found between age of the subject and total LAPS score (r = -.24, p < .001). Women scored significantly higher than men in total LAPS score (p = .008, d = -.36) and dog owners (DO) scored higher than cat owners (CO) (p = .020, d = .23). Further, significant differences have been found when comparing among PO to their level of educational attainment (p < .001, w = .21). No significant differences between owners of purebred and owners of mixed breed pets to their animals were found.

Conclusion: The German translation of the LAPS is a reliable instrument and can be used for future research.

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