Emerging research points to the benefits of canine assisted therapy and activities, especially with children with behavioral developmental and other mental health disorders. Our goal is to expand both practice and research in this area and promote the use CAT/A in school settings. In collaboration with the Pet Savers Foundation, we have completed the first phase of the approach: the development and field testing of a Pre-K to Grade 12 program known as the Mutt-i- grees Curriculum. It is implemented in 4,000+ schools and afterschool programs nationwide and includes several ancillary programs such as Mutt-i- grees at Home – it provides family members with routine strategies to enhance their own and children’s social and emotional competence. We are now initiating the research phase of the approach which will include studies examining the impact of using a dog as an adjunct to educational and therapeutic efforts with different population of children and youth.
Selected IRB Study Titles
- Emotion Revolution: A Study of High School Students’ Perceptions of School Climate
- RULER Leadership Certification Institute: Measuring Successful RULER Implementation
- Teaching Emotion Skills and Creativity Skills Using Art