ERIC Number: EJ1136682
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 96
Theories and Possible Processes of Action in Animal Assisted Interventions
Beetz, Andrea M.
Applied Developmental Science, v21 n2 p139-149 2017
Different positive effects of interactions with animals, such as reduction of stress reactions, depressive mood, anxiety, aggression, and pain, and promotion of trust, calmness, motivation, and concentration have been documented by research on human-animal interaction (HAI), including animal assisted interventions (AAIs). Potential biological, psychological, and social processes may underpin these effects. Theories of why this may occur include biophilia, anthropomorphism, a focus on the experiential system instead of the verbal-symbolic system, motivation, activation of the oxytocin system, attachment and caregiving including provision of social support for stress buffering, and distraction processes. Understanding how animals may positively affect educational and therapeutic settings, in particular for individuals with psychical and psychosocial challenges, and finding what special indications for AAI exist, and which preconditions of learning in the client or the setting could potentially be enhanced, might provide not only a better rationale for AAIs but also promote their efficacy.
Descriptors: Animals, Depression (Psychology), Anxiety, Caregivers, Special Education, Intervention, Interaction, Pain, Attachment Behavior, Therapy, Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Outcomes of Treatment, Motivation, Psychological Patterns
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A