HL610 Animal Assisted Interventions for Youth-At-Risk

Course Description

Animal assisted activities and animal assisted therapy programs may have the capacity to improve social and cognitive skills, to improve awareness of animal care needs, and to reduce aggression and other problem behaviors among emotionally troubled, economically disadvantaged, adjudicated and other youth-at-risk. Shelter-based dog training programs also may have the capacity to improve adoption chances and reduce relinquishment. The course examines the convergence of theories of human-animal bond and the analysis of the risk and protective factors related to youth violence. Specific animal assisted programs for youth-at-risk, mechanisms of change, best practices, program-related animal welfare issues, and program outcomes will be examined. 3 credits

Course Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Explain the physical and mental health benefits of interactions with animals;
  • Demonstrate knowledge of theories of youth-at-risk regarding the factors that put youth at risk and interventions to prevent violence and problem behaviors and apply these theories in the context of animal assisted interventions for youth at risk;
  • Formulate plans to establish animal assisted programs.

Course Topics

(Subject to Change)

  • Theories of AAA/AAT
  • Youth at Risk
  • AAA and AAT Programs for Youth At Risk
  • Theories of Youth Violence
  • Youth Violence Prevention Programs
  • Ethics, Animal Welfare, and AAI
  • Establishing an AAA/AAT Program

Course Materials

(Subject to Change)

  • Fine, A. (Ed.). (2006). Handbook on Animal-Assisted Therapy: Theoretical Foundations and Guidelines for Practice, Second Edition. New York, NY: Academic Press.
  • Delta Society. (1996). Standards of Practice for Animal Assisted Therapy and Animal Assisted Activities. Bellevue, WA: Delta Society.