American International Journal of Social Science

ISSN 2325-4149(Print), ISSN 2325-4165(Online) DIO: 10.30845/aijss

Demonstrating the Efficacy of Animal-Assisted Therapy
Katherine Brown; Lindsey Swanson, Chrisann Schiro-Geist

A pre-posttest quasi-experimental design was used to evaluate the effectiveness of a manualized eight-week AAT group protocol on four behavioral domains in adults with intellectual disabilities. Raters completed the Measurement of Pet Intervention (MOPI) to measure attention span, physical movement, communication, and compliance among fourteen participants in a treatment group with a live dog compared to six participants in a control group with a stuffed animal. Results from a repeated MANOVA revealed that participants in both groups improved over time, but there were no significant differences between groups. However, anecdotal reports suggest that the participants were motivated by the chance to interact with the dogs. This research carries implications for future human-animal interaction studies regarding the need for manualized treatment protocols for AAT, larger sample sizes, and more investigations into one-on-one AAT interventions utilizing treatment manuals.

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