Degree Granting Department
Applied Behavior Analysis
Trevor Stokes, Ph.D.
Jennifer Austin, Ph.D.
Holly Steele, Ph.D.
Developmental disorders, Animals, Communication, Therapy, Classroom
The effects of the presence of a dog on the social interactions between children with developmental disabilities and their teacher were analyzed in this study. We examined whether the presentation of a dog would improve the social interactions of three children with developmental disabilities. A baseline condition consisting of the child and teacher in the presence of three toys, one of which was a toy dog was followed by an intervention in which a real dog was added to the sessions. A multiple baseline design across participants was employed to assess experimental changes in interactions during the intervention condition.
All participants demonstrated an increase in overall positive initiated behaviors (verbal and non-verbal), positive initiated interactions toward the teacher (verbal and non-verbal) and positive initiated interactions toward the dog (verbal and non-verbal). The children also showed an overall decrease in negative initiated behaviors (verbal and nonverbal). Two of the three participants demonstrated a decrease in negative initiated interactions toward their teacher (verbal and non-verbal), while with one participant there was a slight increase in negative non-verbal interactions toward the teacher. All three children showed slight increases in negative initiated non-verbal interactions with the dog while negative initiated verbal interactions toward the dog remained the same.
Scholar Commons Citation
Walters, Stephanie, "The Effects Of The Presence Of A Dog On The Social Interactions Of Children With Developmental Disabilities" (2005). USF Tampa Graduate Theses and Dissertations.