Early childhood trauma may place youth at heighted risk for coping via external means (e.g., gang membership). There are several factors that place youth at risk for gang membership, and many factors are correlated with poor mental health and witnessing violence within one’s home or community (Herrenkohl et al., 2000; Madan, Mrug, & Windle, 2011). Once in the juvenile justice system, offenders with a history of interpersonal violent crimes are at a heightened risk for recidivism (Baskin-Sommers et al., 2016). There is a significant lack of evidence-based programs to support juveniles from recidivating. Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) is proposed as a non-traditional therapy for the non-traditional client. Although research demonstrates benefits of AAT, there is a great need to evaluate AAT with stronger methodology and within the adolescent population (Berry et al., 2013; Lentini & Knox, 2015). Therefore, this dissertation will examine the relationship between AAT and its impact on mental health symptoms and interpersonal sensitivity, in gang affiliated juvenile offenders. It was hypothesized that after the youth receive the AAT there will be a decrease in overall mental health symptoms (as measured by the BYI-II), and an increase in overall interpersonal sensitivity (as measured by the BRIA) from pretest to posttest and follow-up, than wait-list control group. Results from this study indicated partial support of both hypotheses, as demonstrated by the BYI-II and BRIA at varying time intervals (i.e., post- and follow-up), compared to the wait-list control group. Overall, interpretations made from this study may help provide treatment considerations for youth at higher risk for recidivism within the juvenile justice system.
|Commitee:||Tiet, Quyen, Jordan, Valerie|
|School:||Alliant International University|
|Department:||San Francisco, CSPP|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 81/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Clinical psychology, Therapy|
|Keywords:||Adolescent, Animal assisted therapy (AAT), Crossover design, Incarcerated, Multilevel linear regression, Small sample research|
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