Campus Only Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is commonly used to treat autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Existing research indicates that animal-assisted therapy (AAT), another form of treatment, provides a variety of beneficial effects for children with ASD. In this proposed study, researchers are interested in exploring how AAT, as compared to ABA, affects the quality of life of children with ASD. One hundred children with ASD will be randomly assigned to an intervention or control group. The intervention group will receive 2 hour ABA therapy sessions with a canine once a week for 10 weeks. The control group will receive the same therapy without a canine present. Parents and participants will complete a questionnaire measuring quality of life before, immediately after, and six months following interventions. Researchers expect that ABA with AAT will result in a higher quality of life than ABA without AAT immediately after interventions, ABA with AAT interventions will result in an increased quality of life between baseline and immediately after interventions, ABA with AAT interventions will result in an increased quality of life between baseline and follow-up, and there will be no change in quality of life in the control group between baseline and immediately after interventions, or between baseline follow-up. Researchers hope to encourage both the integration of animals into treatment, and the consideration of quality of life when examining treatment options for ASD.
Herdman, Caroline, "CHILDREN WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER: ANIMAL-ASSISTED THERAPY TO IMPROVE QUALITY OF LIFE" (2023). Scripps Senior Theses. 2124.
This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.