Effects of a Trained Therapy Dog in Child-Centered Play Therapy on Children's Biobehavioral Measures of Anxiety Page: 2
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Athy, Annette L. Effects of a Trained Therapy Dog in Child-Centered Play
Therapy on Children's Biobehavioral Measures of Anxiety. Doctor of Philosophy
(Counseling), May 2005, 151 pages, 56 tables, 4 figures, 120 references.
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 therapy
(CCPT) and animal-assisted therapy was shown to have little practical significance in
decreasing children's first 5-minute biobehavioral measurements, middle 5-minute
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Athy, Annette L. Effects of a Trained Therapy Dog in Child-Centered Play Therapy on Children's Biobehavioral Measures of Anxiety, dissertation, May 2005; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4793/m1/2/: accessed September 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .