Presentation Title

Effects of Dog Therapy on Undergraduate Students’ Stress Levels

Format of Presentation

Poster to be presented Friday March 31, 2017

Abstract

University can be a stressful time for many undergraduates. Fortunately, there are various stress reduction strategies, including weekly dog therapy sessions, conducted at Thompson Rivers University. This study investigated the effects of dog therapy on students via a self-reported stress survey. Students in a control group (n= 98), who did not visit the therapy dogs, and a test group (n= 108), who did, provided data on various factors. Students in the test group reported their stress levels before and after participating in a dog therapy session. Tests of association were used to examine relationships between stress before visiting the dogs and various other factors. Two-sample t-tests were used to compare stress levels for students in the control group to those in the test group prior to the dog therapy and paired t-tests were used to compare the stress levels of students in the test group before and after dog therapy. There appeared to be an association between course load and the stress level of students in the test group before using the dog therapy (p= 0.018). There was no difference in stress levels between students in the test group before dog therapy and those in the control group (p= 0.2771), but there was a significant difference in the average stress levels of students in the test group before and after they visited the therapy dogs (p= 0.0000); the results suggested that the dog therapy was successful in decreasing stress levels among students in the test group.

Department

Biological Sciences

Faculty Advisor

Nancy Flood

Comments

If any additional information is required, please inquire: draydenkopp@gmail.com

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Effects of Dog Therapy on Undergraduate Students’ Stress Levels

University can be a stressful time for many undergraduates. Fortunately, there are various stress reduction strategies, including weekly dog therapy sessions, conducted at Thompson Rivers University. This study investigated the effects of dog therapy on students via a self-reported stress survey. Students in a control group (n= 98), who did not visit the therapy dogs, and a test group (n= 108), who did, provided data on various factors. Students in the test group reported their stress levels before and after participating in a dog therapy session. Tests of association were used to examine relationships between stress before visiting the dogs and various other factors. Two-sample t-tests were used to compare stress levels for students in the control group to those in the test group prior to the dog therapy and paired t-tests were used to compare the stress levels of students in the test group before and after dog therapy. There appeared to be an association between course load and the stress level of students in the test group before using the dog therapy (p= 0.018). There was no difference in stress levels between students in the test group before dog therapy and those in the control group (p= 0.2771), but there was a significant difference in the average stress levels of students in the test group before and after they visited the therapy dogs (p= 0.0000); the results suggested that the dog therapy was successful in decreasing stress levels among students in the test group.