The effect of pet-assisted therapy on the social skills of institutionalized adolescent psychiatric patients is evaluated via qualitative and quantitative methods. Weekly sessions with the therapy dog were observed and personal interviews with four patients conducted to gather data. Data was analyzed and encoded to determine general themes of social interaction related to the pet-assisted therapy, including improved self-esteem, development of social roles, and trust in physical contact with others.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
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Biology and Biotechnology