Date: May 2005
Creator: Athy, Annette L.
Description: This study was concerned with reducing children's anticipatory anxiety when entering mental health services for the first time. The purpose of this study was to determine whether combining two effective modalities, play therapy and animal-assisted therapy, would be effective in decreasing children's biobehavioral measurements of anxiety. Specifically, this study examined the effects of the presence of a trained therapy dog during one individual 30-minute play therapy session. The experimental group consisted of 26 children who received one individual 30-minute play therapy session with the presence of a trained therapy dog. The comparison group consisted of 25 children who received one individual 30-minute play therapy session without the presence of a trained therapy dog. The SenseWear® PRO 2 armband monitor measured children's biobehavioral measurements such as galvanic skin response, temperature, and activity level (BodyMedia, Inc., Pittsburgh , PA , www.bodymedia.com). The Tanita 6102 Cardio® digital heart rate monitor measured children's pre-treatment and post-treatment heart rates (Tanita Corporation of America, Inc., Arlington Heights , IL , www.tanita.com). Five hypotheses were tested using repeated measures ANOVA with mixed factors and eta squared. All five hypotheses in this study were retained based on statistical significance at the .05 level. The combination of child-centered play ...
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