Adolescents Growing Up With a Family Dog: Maximizing Resilience in Adulthood

Teenager Life: Living in The Fast Lane

To consider what having a dog means to a teenager, we have to try to identify with where the teenager is at in this normally complex time of development. In 2019, The New York Times interviewed 17 year old, Sadie Radinsky about what it was like to have a family dog to relate too. She mostly listed ways she cared for and connected with her current dog, but when asked what benefit she gets from having a dog, Sadie mentioned having a dog helps her stop – and live for the present. Not something many teenagers are conscious of, in their opinions.


“We’re hardly ever present… We’re always wishing we had done better on that Spanish test last week.” Sadie Radinskey, New York Times, 2019.


Adolescents: Finding and Proving Their Identity

A study by R. Purewall, R. Christely, K. Kordas, C. Joinson, K. Meints, N. Gee, C. Westgrath. (2017) identified building positive relationships as crucial during adolescent development. Many studies focused only on human to human social development. Purewall et al (2017), explored that ” Childhood and adolescence are crucial life phases in their contribution to the quality of health, emotional well-being, learning and behavior across the life span”

The Value of The Family Dog in Your Teenager’s Life

Studies on adolescent research indicate that for teenagers, “growing up” can be a very stressful time. Adolescence is the next phase of rapid development after toddlerhood. Adolescent development attempts to establish peer to peer relationships, expand interpersonal and intrapersonal skills as well as complete coping skills development for success in adulthood. Teenagers are very emotional, and learning how to cope with their feelings is increasingly important to help provide resources and outlets for them to debrief at the end of their long day.


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