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Social skills improvement for an adolescent engaged in equine assisted therapy: a single subject study

By Jennifer E. Cartinella

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Category Theses

The use of animals for therapeutic purposes has been documented for centuries. There is much anecdotal
literature touting the benefits of animal assisted therapy; however, there are few controlled studies supporting
these claims. Therapy animals are often used with the child/adolescent population. The few controlled studies
in this area suggest that there are benefits to children/adolescents when using animals in therapy. One benefit
seen is an improvement in social skills; however, this has only been investigated in two studies. The following
dissertation is a single subject study of an adolescent's social skills during her engagement in 6 weeks of equine
assisted therapy. The adolescent's parent completed the Social Skills Rating Scale each week, before, during,
and after her treatment. In contrast to the available studies, the results suggest that there were no positive or
stable changes observed in the adolescent's social skills during treatment, compared to her baseline scores.
Reasons for this contradiction are examined and future research is recommended.


Megan Kendall

Purdue University

Date 2009
Pages 51
Location of Publication Hillsboro, Oregon
Degree PsyD
Language English
Notes This article was found at CommonKnowledge of Pacific University:
University Pacific University
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Adolescents
  2. Animal-assisted therapies
  3. Assisted therapy
  4. Equine facilitated counselling (EFC)
  5. Horses
  6. Mammals
  7. Social Skills
  8. Therapeutic horsemanship