You are here: Home / Journal Articles / Evaluating the Impact of a Humane Education Summer-Camp Program on School-Aged Children's Relationships with Companion Animals / About

Evaluating the Impact of a Humane Education Summer-Camp Program on School-Aged Children's Relationships with Companion Animals

By Christine Yvette Tardif-Williams, Sandra Leanne Bosacki

Category Journal Articles
Abstract

This study evaluated the impact of children's participation in a five-day humane education summer-camp program on the quality of their relationships with and treatment of companion animals. We measured changes from pre- to post-program in 77 children (50 girls, 27 boys) aged 6–12 years. The program promoted positive interactions between children and animals in natural settings, with a focus on either companion animals or farm/forest animals. The Companion Animal Bonding Scale, the Pet Friendship Scale, the Comfort from Companion Animal Scale, the Children's Treatment of Animal Questionnaire, and a drawing task were administered to children prior to the beginning of the camp on day one and again at the end of day five. Overall, the results showed that after five days of humane education in summer camp, children reported sharing significantly closer bonds and friendships with their companion animals. These results were more pronounced for girls versus boys, among younger (aged 6 to 8 years) versus older (aged 9 to 12 years) children, and among children receiving the companion-animal versus farm/forest-animal curriculum. Older boys reported significantly lower scores on the humane treatment of their companion animals, compared with younger boys, and both older and younger girls. Comparisons by type of curriculum also suggested that the humane education curriculum that focused on farm/forest animals resonated more with the girls versus the boys. The implications for camp- and classroom- based humane education programs are discussed.

Publication Title Anthrozoös
Volume 28
Issue 4
Pages 587-600
ISBN/ISSN 0892-7936
DOI 10.1080/08927936.2015.1070001
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Tags
  1. Human-animal bond
  2. Humane education