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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Motivators that Influence Canine Handlers to Volunteer in Animal Assisted Activities
by Fisher, Gina Marie, Ph.D., Walden University, 2020, 119; 28092127
Abstract (Summary)

Animal-assisted activity (AAA) programs support various mental health or health-related concerns. Little research has studied why individuals are motivated to volunteer in animal-assisted therapy programs; no studies have addressed what motivational factors influence individuals to become an AAA volunteer. This quantitative investigation used functional motivational theory and attachment theory to uncover the motivations of these volunteers. Certain motives were primed with cues to understand key influences among the 186 individuals selected by convenience sampling through a therapy animal organization. Data were collected through an online survey in which the participants answered a series of essay type questions, some of which contained priming words. The results indicated that there were no significant differences in the priming conditions. The findings may be used to design programs to recruit future volunteers to continue supporting these successful programs. The broad outcome for these programs will improve mental and physical health for patients participating in AAA.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Masiello, Tracy
Commitee: Diebold, Charles
School: Walden University
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 82/3(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational psychology, Mental health
Keywords: Animal assisted activities, Animal assisted therapy, Canine handler, Dog-human interaction, Mental health, Volunteer motivation
Publication Number: 28092127
ISBN: 9798672180106
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