Date of Paper

5-2013

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Valandra

Abstract

Animal-assisted therapy has frequently been used with children who have autism spectrum disorder. This study examined animal-assisted therapists’ perceptions of effectiveness of animal-assisted therapy with children who have DSM-IV mental health diagnoses. The researcher recruited self-identified animal-assisted therapists using social media sites LinkedIn and Facebook. Two therapists completed the fourteen question qualitative survey in full. Three themes were found in this study; comfort, confidence, and benefits. While this study produced definite themes, more research needs to be conducted on animal-assisted therapy and children with DSM-IV mental health disorders. Very few studies have been conducted on the impacts of animal-assisted therapy with children who have a various DSM-IV mental health disorders.

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