Examining the effects of animal assisted activities against standard treatment in a university setting

Journal article


Spruin, L., Islam, S., Wornast, T. and Dempster, T. 2023. Examining the effects of animal assisted activities against standard treatment in a university setting. Pet Behaviour Science. https://doi.org/10.21071/pbs.vi14.15225
AuthorsSpruin, L., Islam, S., Wornast, T. and Dempster, T.
Abstract

The wellbeing of university students has become a global issue in recent years, with the rise of students seeking help for their mental health, the demand for such services has increased exponentially, leading many Universities to struggle in meeting these growing demands. With research in the area manly focused on formal methods of student support, the current study explores the use of more informal sources of support. 100 university students who had attended a standard informal student support session (known as Chooseday Chill) or a wellbeing dog session, were asked to complete a questionnaire measuring their anxiety and overall wellbeing. Results indicated that when compared to the standard support, students who attended the wellbeing dog sessions reported significantly lower levels of anxiety and higher levels of wellbeing at the end of the sessions. The authors discuss the practical implications of these findings for treatment in Higher Education.

KeywordsMental health; Student wellbeing; Animal assisted intervention; University students; Higher education
Year27 Jun 2023
JournalPet Behaviour Science
PublisherUniversity of Cordoba
ISSN2445-2874
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.21071/pbs.vi14.15225
Official URLhttps://journals.uco.es/pet/article/view/15225
Publication dates
Online27 Jun 2023
Publication process dates
Deposited09 Aug 2023
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Open
Output statusPublished
References

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Place of publicationPet Behaviour Science
ContributorsE. Spruin (Researcher), S. Islam (Researcher) and T. Dempster (Researcher)
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Spruin, L., Alleyne, E., Baker, R., Papadaki, I. and Franz, A. 2017. Exploring the belief systems of domestic abuse victims using Smallest Space Analysis (SSA). Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice. 3 (1), pp. 17-26. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCRPP-10-2016-0028
The criminal experience of mentally disordered offenders
Spruin, L. and Siesmaa, B. 2016. The criminal experience of mentally disordered offenders. in: Klein, A. (ed.) Crime and Criminal Behaviour Nova Science Publishers. pp. 11-30
Animal Welfare: Domestic pets – written evidence (AWF 238)
Franz, A., Ashdown, L., Fernandez, A., Holt, N. and Spruin, L. 2016. Animal Welfare: Domestic pets – written evidence (AWF 238).
Specialist group therapy for firesetting behaviour: evidence of a treatment effect from a non-randomised pilot trial with male prisoners
Gannon, T., Alleyne, E., Butler, H., Danby, H., Kapoor, A., Lovell, T., Ozcakir Mozova, K., Spruin, L., Tostevin, T., Tyler, N. and O'Ciardha, C. 2015. Specialist group therapy for firesetting behaviour: evidence of a treatment effect from a non-randomised pilot trial with male prisoners. Behaviour Research and Therapy. 73, pp. 42-51. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2015.07.007
Written evidence submitted to Commons Select Committee Animal Welfare Inquiry
Franz, A., Ashdown, L., Fernandez, A., Hirst, L., Holt, N., Moore, H. and Spruin, L. 2016. Written evidence submitted to Commons Select Committee Animal Welfare Inquiry. www.parliament.uk.
Dogs in the courtroom
Spruin, L., Holt, N., Fernandez, A. and Franz, A. 2016. Dogs in the courtroom. in: Crime and Criminal Behaviour New York Nova Science Publishers.
The use of dogs in the courtroom
Spruin, L., Holt, N., Fernandez, A. and Franz, A. 2016. The use of dogs in the courtroom. in: Klein, A. (ed.) Crime and Criminal Behaviour Nova Science Publishers.
The evaluation of a summer youth scheme for children with disabilities: a brief report on the findings from an evaluation of the Special Needs Advisoryand Activities Project (SNAAP)
Spruin, L. and Abbott, N. 2014. The evaluation of a summer youth scheme for children with disabilities: a brief report on the findings from an evaluation of the Special Needs Advisoryand Activities Project (SNAAP).
Examining the experiences of a short break scheme amongst adolescents with disabilities (service users) and their parents
Spruin, L., Abbott, N. and Holt, N. 2017. Examining the experiences of a short break scheme amongst adolescents with disabilities (service users) and their parents. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education. 64, pp. 1-15. https://doi.org/10.1080/1034912X.2017.1348599
Criminal narratives of mentally disordered offenders: an exploratory study
Spruin, L., Canter, D., Youngs, D. and Siesmaa, B. 2014. Criminal narratives of mentally disordered offenders: an exploratory study. Criminal Narratives of Mentally Disordered Offenders: An Exploratory Study. 14 (5), pp. 438-455. https://doi.org/10.1080/15228932.2014.965987
Investigative psychology
Youngs, D. and Spruin, L. 2014. Investigative psychology. in: Bruinsma, G. and Weisburd, D. (ed.) Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice New York Springer. pp. 2391-2706
Domestic abuse victims’ perceptions of abuse and support: a narrative study
Spruin, L., Alleyne, E. and Papadaki, I. 2015. Domestic abuse victims’ perceptions of abuse and support: a narrative study. Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice. 1 (1), pp. 19-28. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCRPP-10-2014-0002
Criminal narratives of mentally disordered offenders
Spruin, L., Siesmaa, B., Spruin, L. and Youngs, D. 2013. Criminal narratives of mentally disordered offenders.
Deconstructing the personal narrative through offending behaviour and interpersonal style
Spruin, L. and Siesmaa, B. 2012. Deconstructing the personal narrative through offending behaviour and interpersonal style.
The criminal experience of mentally disordered offenders
Spruin, L. 2013. The criminal experience of mentally disordered offenders. PhD Thesis University of Huddersfield International Research Centre for Investigative Psychology
Identifying indices of learning for alpha neurofeedback training
Dempster, T. and Vernon, D. 2009. Identifying indices of learning for alpha neurofeedback training. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. 34 (4), pp. 309-328. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10484-009-9112-3
Supporting the competence of practitioners: back to the future?
Wornast, T. and Smith, A. 2010. Supporting the competence of practitioners: back to the future? Community Practitioner: the Journal of the Community Practitioners' & Health Visitors' Association. 83 (10), pp. 34-37.