The Background to Human-Animal Interaction (HAI) Research

Alan M. Beck1, Sandra Barker2, Nancy R. Gee3, James A. Griffin4*, & Rebecca Johnson5
1Center for the Human-Animal Bond, Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine
2School of Medicine Center for Human-Animal Interaction, Department of Psychiatry, Virginia Commonwealth University
3Department of Psychology, SUNY, Fredonia
4Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda MD.
5Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction, MU College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri

Human-Animal Interaction (HAI), and specifically what is called the human-animal bond, has a long history. The long-standing social implications of our association with animals continue as well as an ever-increasing utilization of animals to help mitigate the impact of disabilities. In the last four decades there has been a growing research enterprise exploring the human health consequences of our association with animals as well as studies of the psychological and physiological mechanisms to help explain the findings. Research in the area continues and the future of HAI is both challenging and exciting.

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