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  1. Dog Ownership and Training Reduces Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms and Increases Self-Compassion Among Veterans: Results of a Longitudinal Control Study

    Full-text: Available

    Contributor(s): Leslie Irvine

    Objectives: The aims of this study were to measure the potential impact of a therapeutic dog ownership and training program for Veterans with symptoms of post-traumatic stress. Design: The study used a quasi-experimental design with two cohorts of Veterans-a dog owner-trainer intervention and a...

  2. We Don’t Train in Vain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Human and Canine Caregiver Training

    The present review assessed the current knowledge regarding caregiver- training effectiveness for human and human-canine dyads. Most canine-related sources (66%; n = 19) were case studies reporting a decrease of learner undesired behavior when using oral instruction (21%; n = 6). Most...

  3. Investigation of Physiological and Behavioral Responses in Dogs Participating in Animal-Assisted Therapy with Children Diagnosed with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    Full-text: Available

    Contributor(s): Leslie Irvine

    This study evaluated the impact that participation in sessions with children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has on therapy dogs. Nine certified therapy dogs were paired for 6 sessions with groups of 3–4 children. Sessions consisted of 5 different activities. Activities 1 and...

  4. Companion Animals in Natural Disasters: A Scoping Review of Scholarly Sources

    During a disaster, people may make evacuation decisions based on their companion animal’s welfare, therefore exposing themselves, their companion animals, and emergency responders to increased risk for injury or death. The loss and suffering of companion animals in disasters causes deep distress,...

  5. Lancaster Pet Cemetery Memorial Plaques 1951–2018: An Analysis of Inscriptions

    Individuals in many cultures have a close relationship with their pets and think of them not only as companion animals but also as family. Research on the ways in which people memorialize their deceased pets has become increasingly important, and pet cemetery gravestone inscriptions have provided...

  6. A Longitudinal Study of Decision Making in the Process of Acquiring a Dog

    To prevent potential problems in the relationship between people and their dogs, it is important to engage in a thoughtful decision-making process with regard to acquiring a dog. To map the most important elements in the decision-making process, a social cognitive model was applied using seven...

  7. Does Anthropomorphism of Dogs Affect Pain Perception in Animal-Assisted Interventions? An Exploratory Study

    Full-text: Available

    Contributor(s): Leslie Irvine

    The purpose of this exploratory study was to determine the effects of anthropomorphism of a therapy dog on pain perception during an animal-assisted intervention. Participants were 32 college women who were randomly assigned to the anthropomorphism condition or the control condition. All...

  8. Dogs as an Adjunct to Therapy: Effects of Animal-Assisted Therapy on Rehabilitation Following Spinal Cord Injury

    Full-text: Available

    Contributor(s): Leslie Irvine

    Approximately 17,000 new cases of spinal cord injury (SCI) are reported annually in the United States. Rehabilitation from SCI involves substantial mental, emotional, and physical challenges. Using a randomized controlled trial design, we assessed the efficacy of animal-assisted therapy (AAT) as...

  9. Psychological Mechanisms Predicting Wellbeing in Pet Owners: Rogers’ Core Conditions versus Bowlby’s Attachment

    While pet ownership may confer physical and psychological health benefits, existing research presents inconsistent findings, and the psychological mechanisms through which health benefits might be conferred are unknown. Exploring human–pet relationships from the perspectives of Bowlby’s...

  10. Low-Ability Secondary School Students Show Emotional, Motivational, and Performance Benefits when Reading to a Dog Versus a Teacher

    Full-text: Available

    Contributor(s): Leslie Irvine

    Some research shows that reading to a dog can positively impact both reading attainment and attitude to reading in school children; however, most research to date has focused on primary school-aged children (4–11 years). In this study we used a series of comparisons to assess the immediate...

  11. Canine-assisted Speech Therapy for Children with Communication Impairments: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    Full-text: Available

    Contributor(s): Leslie Irvine

    Developmental dysphasia (DD) is a disorder resulting in a communication impairment. Children diagnosed with this condition are usually referred to a speech therapist. Further to conventional speech therapy it is possible to adopt a complementary animal-assisted approach. For the present study, we...

  12. Measuring the Strength of Human–Animal Bonds in Zoos

    Repeated interactions within individual human and animal dyads can lead to the establishment of human–animal relationships (HARs), which may vary in quality from good to bad, defined in terms of the positivity (e.g., friendly contact, play) or negativity (e.g., aggression) of the interactions on...

  13. Measuring the Strength of Human–Animal Bonds in Zoos

    Repeated interactions within individual human and animal dyads can lead to the establishment of human–animal relationships (HARs), which may vary in quality from good to bad, defined in terms of the positivity (e.g., friendly contact, play) or negativity (e.g., aggression) of the interactions on...

  14. Animal-assisted Psychotherapy and Trauma: A Meta-analysis

    Full-text: Available

    Contributor(s): Leslie Irvine

    The present meta-analysis examined the efficacy of animal-assisted psychotherapy for individuals who have experienced trauma. Eight studies quantitatively assessed the treatment effects of involvement in animal-assisted psychotherapy. A random effects model was used to aggregate each study into...

  15. Exploring the Meaning and Experience of Chronic Pain with People Who Live with a Dog: A Qualitative Study

    Pain is a significant burden for those with chronic disease and negatively impacts quality of life, causing disability and substantial work and health-care costs. Chronic pain has been identified as one of the most important current and future causes of morbidity and disability across the world....

  16. Measuring Quality of Life in Owners of Companion Dogs: Development and Validation of a Dog Owner-specific Quality of Life Questionnaire

    Numerous studies have examined the link between companiondog ownership and improved physical or psychological health outcomes; however, few have examined the association between dog ownership and owners’ overall wellbeing or quality of life (QOL). Moreover, the potential for dog ownership to...

  17. Using Attachment Theory and Social Support Theory to Examine and Measure Pets as Sources of Social Support and Attachment Figures

    Companion animals are increasingly being recognized by society as beneficial to our health and considered by many owners as authentic and affectional family members. Human relationship theories help us to understand the emotional and supportive aspect of the human– companion animal bond. This...

  18. The Effects of Touching and Stroking a Cat on the Inferior Frontal Gyrus in People

    Our study evaluated the effects on the prefrontal cortex, especially the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), of people when touching and stroking a real or soft toy cat, using functional near infrared spectroscopy. Thirty under-graduate students (10 males, 20 females) were recruited and performed three...

  19. Children Love Their Pets: Do Relationships between Children and Pets Co-vary with Taxonomic Order, Gender, and Age?

    Generally, children love their pets. However, a deeper insight into the beneficial effects of pets on the physical, psychological, and social wellbeing and development of children is needed. This study investigated whether children have more intense relationships with animals which are...

  20. The Effects of Group-Administered Canine Therapy on University Students’ Wellbeing: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    Full-text: Available

    Contributor(s): Leslie Irvine

    University students with elevated stress levels are at risk for experiencing compromised mental health and for underperforming academically. In an effort to support student wellbeing, post-secondary campuses are increasingly offering canine therapy programs. These programs provide students...