Next Article in Journal
Comment on Sundseth et al. Global Sources and Pathways of Mercury in the Context of Human Health. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 105
Next Article in Special Issue
Childhood Attachment to Pets: Associations between Pet Attachment, Attitudes to Animals, Compassion, and Humane Behaviour
Previous Article in Journal
The Australian National Pollutant Inventory Fails to Fulfil Its Legislated Goals
Previous Article in Special Issue
Therapeutic Horseback Riding Crossover Effects of Attachment Behaviors with Family Pets in a Sample of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Article Menu
Issue 5 (May) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(5), 483; doi:10.3390/ijerph14050483

The Effect of Dog-Assisted Intervention on Student Well-Being, Mood, and Anxiety

Department of Psychology, Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh EH14 4AS, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Joanne Williams
Received: 23 December 2016 / Revised: 14 April 2017 / Accepted: 2 May 2017 / Published: 5 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Assisted Interventions and Activites for Health and Wellbeing)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [284 KB, uploaded 5 May 2017]

Abstract

This novel, exploratory study investigated the effect of a short, 20 min, dog-assisted intervention on student well-being, mood, and anxiety. One hundred and thirty-two university students were allocated to either an experimental condition or one of two control conditions. Each participant completed the Warwick–Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale (WEMBS), the State Trait Anxiety Scale (STAI), and the UWIST Mood Adjective Checklist (UMACL) both before, and after, the intervention. The participants in the experimental condition interacted with both the dogs and their handlers, whereas the control groups interacted with either the dog only, or the handler only. The analyses revealed a significant difference across conditions for each measure, with those conditions in which a dog was present leading to significant improvements in mood and well-being, as well as a significant reduction in anxiety. Interestingly, the presence of a handler alongside the dog appeared to have a negative, and specific, effect on participant mood, with greater positive shifts in mood being witnessed when participants interacted with the dog alone, than when interacting with both the dog and the handler. These findings show that even a short 20 min session with a therapy dog can be an effective alternative intervention to improve student well-being, anxiety, and mood. View Full-Text
Keywords: dog-assisted intervention; wellbeing; mood; anxiety; higher education dog-assisted intervention; wellbeing; mood; anxiety; higher education
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Grajfoner, D.; Harte, E.; Potter, L.M.; McGuigan, N. The Effect of Dog-Assisted Intervention on Student Well-Being, Mood, and Anxiety. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 483.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top