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The effects of animal assisted therapy on tantrums and aggressive behaviors of children with autism

By Rebecca L. Jesionowicz

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This study investigated the influence of Animal Assisted Therapy on three elementary school boys' with Autism Spectrum Disorder emotional regulation. The children participated in 12 Animal Assisted Therapy sessions using the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum with a therapy dog over the course of 6-8 weeks. A non-concurrent multiple-baseline-across-participants design was used to examine how the intervention affected the frequency, intensity, and duration of tantrums and the frequency and intensity of aggressive behaviors. Tantrums and aggressive behaviors were used as indicators of emotional dysregulation. There was minimal evidence that indicated that Animal Assisted Therapy might decrease the duration of tantrum behaviors and the intensity of aggressive behaviors. Overall, the results did not suggest that Animal Assisted Therapy had a positive effect on the participants' temper tantrums and aggressive behaviors. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

ISBN/ISSN 0419-4217978-1339146447
Publisher ProQuest Information & Learning
Notes Accession Number: 2016-37853-250. Other Journal Title: Dissertation Abstracts International. Partial author list: First Author & Affiliation: Jesionowicz, Rebecca L.; University of Northern Colorado, Applied Psychology and Counselor Education, CO, US. Release Date: 20161017. Publication Type: Dissertation Abstract (0400). Format Covered: Electronic. Document Type: Dissertation. Dissertation Number: AAI3728918. ISBN: 978-1339146447. Language: English. Major Descriptor: Animal Assisted Therapy; Autism Spectrum Disorders; Curriculum; Special Education. Minor Descriptor: Aggressive Behavior; Tantrums. Classification: Health & Mental Health Treatment & Prevention (3300). Population: Human (10); Male (30). Age Group: Childhood (birth-12 yrs) (100); School Age (6-12 yrs) (180). Methodology: Empirical Study; Quantitative Study.
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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Aggressive behavior
  2. Animal-assisted therapies
  3. Autism
  4. Curriculum
  5. pediatrics
  6. Special Education