You are here: Home / Journal Articles / Therapeutic horseback riding crossover effects of attachment behaviors with family pets in a sample of children with autism spectrum disorder / About

Therapeutic horseback riding crossover effects of attachment behaviors with family pets in a sample of children with autism spectrum disorder

By J. D. Petty, ZhaoXing Pan

Category Journal Articles
Abstract

The unique needs of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have implications for animal welfare. This nested pilot study examined the effects of a randomized trial of 10-week therapeutic horseback riding (THR) intervention versus a no-horse barn activity (BA) control group on children's behaviors with family pets. Sixty-seven (THR n=31; BA n=36) participants with ASD (ages 6-16 years) with one or more family pet, were enrolled from a larger trial (n=116) following their randomization to intervention groups, stratified by nonverbal intellectual ability. A consistent caregiver completed questionnaires about participants' interactions with their household pets pre- and post-intervention. Caregivers of THR group participants reported significant improvements in participants' caring actions with the family pet compared with the BA group (p=0.013; effect size=0.74). Engaging with horses during a standard THR intervention protocol may generalize to improving caring actions toward family pets in children and adolescents with ASD.

Date 2017
Publication Title International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume 14
Issue 3
Pages 256
ISBN/ISSN 1660-4601
Publisher MDPI
DOI 10.3390/ijerph14030256
URL https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/14/3/256
Language English
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Tags
  1. Animal-assisted interventions
  2. Animal roles
  3. Autism
  4. Human-animal interactions
  5. Human-animal relationships
  6. open access
  7. Pets and companion animals
  8. Therapeutic horsemanship
Badges
  1. open access