The Human-Animal bond – Shaping Both Ends of the Leash!
Only research will provide us and our potential clients with the information to make important decisions about these things.
We are gathering data on a variety of variables through daily rubrics, pre/post testing, an exit interview and shared information with our schools and juvenile probation.
To date we have seen a staggering 98% of our youth are staying out of trouble during the program and demonstrating increased patience, communication skills and self concept.
Almost 100% of the dogs in our program are adopted!
We have recently completed our curriculum and measurement tool revisions as a result of our collaboration with the Peabody Research Institute. We look forward to collaborating with others interested in the benefits of canine intervention with youth at risk.
If you or who you are associated with are interested in assisting in some way with this study, please contact: email@example.com
To read more about how community programs are shaping our system click on: juvenile justice programs lipsey.pdf
Why are we pursuing this?
Evidence suggests that states investing in community-based programs for delinquent youth outside the juvenile justice system, actually improve community safety as well as reaping positive results for taxpayers. Many states are currently redirecting funds away from residential facilities and focusing dollars on less expensive youth programs that reduce recidivism and youth crime. The strongest argument for community-based programs for delinquent youth is that imprisoning youth can actually have a negative effect. For a number of reasons youth who are imprisoned have higher recidivism rates that those who remain in the community (Justice Policy Institute, 2009).
Further studies indicate that juveniles who spend time with and care for animals are more likely to influence and develop higher morale, physiological states, feelings of self-worth, responsibility, self-esteem, and social growth (Beck & Katcher, 2003; Maruyama, 2005). In addition, research has indicated that communication skills in young children are positively influenced through animal contact (Beck & Katcher, 2003).
What are some of the key changes we have implemented to help ensure valid research?
We provide training to our staff and volunteers to help assure the consistent use of measurement tools and how they are to be administered. The training and site coordination will help ensure all sites are administering the pre-post tests, filling in daily rubrics and administering the exit interview accurately and reliably.
The research team has gone to great lengths to standardize the selection of viable canines used in the program. Canines used in this study will be homeless and living in shelters. All dogs are randomly selected and then temperamentally assessed using Sue Sternberg’s Assess-a-Pet™ Temperament Assessment Test (Sternberg, 1993).
Lastly, the curriculum has been carefully constructed and is presented and discussed in our training session with staff and volunteers. The curriculum is organized in binders for the needs of both youth and staff. Although it is expected that each person will interject their own personalities in running the program, the written curriculum will ensure the consistency of content being taught.
Can you help make a noteworthy outcome more widespread with your support?