Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Qutayba Abdullatif

Reader 2

Lahnna Catalino

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Rights Information

© 2018 Valerie Daifotis


The use of dogs in a reading program is not a new concept. However, this study addresses the gap in the literature by exploring the connection between reading to dogs, reading self-efficacy, and reading standardized test scores. Using an experimental control group design, this study will look at below-average readers in the fifth grade with half randomly assigned to read once a week to a certified therapy dog and volunteer and the other half randomly assigned to read to just an adult volunteer with no dog. This study will use a reading self-efficacy questionnaire (Carroll & Fox, 2017) and the existing reading standardized test used in the school district. The study should find that reading to dogs has a significant effect on reading self-efficacy and reading standardized test scores. Self-efficacy should mediate the effect of the presence of dogs in the reading group on test scores. This study will contribute to the existing literature on canine-assisted reading programs as well as academic self-efficacy. Though the results are based on local fifth grade students, the study can be replicated in other grades and school districts.