Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Nadorff, Michael

Committee Member

Winer, E. Samuel

Committee Member

Gardner, Allison Latimer

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Visible to MSU only for 2 years

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Campus Access Only



Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Psychology


Depression is a common, debilitating disorder that is often treated using behavioral activation (BA), which includes identification and scheduling of pleasant activities. Owning a pet appears to be a viable source of pleasant activities, though current BA tools do not extensively consider these activities. The present study aimed to develop the Pet-Related Events and Tasks Scale (PETS) to determine what activities of pet ownership are pleasant and may be used in BA. Various methods were used to generate items (i.e., focus groups, surveys, and adaptation of existing event schedule items) and revise the developing PETS (i.e., cognitive interviews and expert review). Initial data collection on the developing PETS resulted in a small, homogeneous sample that concluded prematurely due to changes in engagement in pet-related activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home orders. Despite limited data collection, various future directions exist for the developing PETS.