Date of Award

2011

Degree Name

School Psychology

College

Graduate School of Education and Professional Development

Type of Degree

Ed.S.

Document Type

Thesis

First Advisor

Sandra S. Stroebel

Second Advisor

Fred Jay Krieg

Third Advisor

Edna Meisel

Abstract

Research has shown that the presence of a therapy dog in the classroom should elicit a calming effect, reduce stress, and promote positive interactions among peers and adults. The purpose of this study is to examine the effect a therapy dog has on behavior and reading in the classroom. Specifically, the study will be comparing behavior gradesand reading scores for two groups of students: one that received Animal Assisted Therapy and one that did not receive Animal Assisted Therapy. Data were collected from two fifth-grade classrooms. There were 17 fifth-grade students in the experimental groupand 15 in the control group. Results showed that there was no significant difference in pre- and post-test behavior for the experimental and control group. Also, there was no significant difference in reading for the experimental and control groups.