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The value of a dog in a classroom of children with severe emotional disorders

By K. L. Anderson, M. R. Olson

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The purpose of the present study was to determine how a dog's presence in a self-contained classroom of six children diagnosed with severe emotional disorders affected students' emotional stability and their learning. Across an eight-week period of time, the children were observed, the children and their parents were interviewed, and behavioral data were recorded when students went into emotional crisis. Qualitative analysis of all coded data indicated that the dog's placement in this self-contained classroom: (a) contributed to students' overall emotional stability evidenced by prevention and de-escalation of episodes of emotional crisis; (b) improved students' attitudes toward school; and (c) facilitated students' learning lessons in responsibility, respect and empathy.

Date 2006
Publication Title Anthrozoos
Volume 19
Issue 1
Pages 35-49
ISBN/ISSN 0892-7936
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.2752/089279306785593919
Author Address Department of Special Education, Minnesota State University, Moorhead, Minnesota, USA.myrna_olson@und.nodak.edu
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Anthrozoology
  2. Attitudes
  3. Children
  4. Developed countries
  5. Diseases
  6. Dogs
  7. Emotions
  8. Learning
  9. Mammals
  10. North America
  11. North Dakota
  12. OECD countries
  13. peer-reviewed
  14. Pets and companion animals
  15. Primates
  16. Social psychology and social anthropology
  17. United States of America
  1. peer-reviewed