Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Fifth International Conference on Higher Education Advances

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Attitude towards and Interest in Dog-Assisted Interventions of Students in Higher Education
Cathrin Rothkopf, Theresa Stark, Silke Schworm

Last modified: 25-06-2019

Abstract


The mental health of students is a critical issue facing institutions of higher education, as a majority of college and university students report suffering from stress and anxiety. Studies have shown that interacting with animals can enhance the mental health. Consequently, animal-assisted interventions can be used to cover the concerns of students. This study evaluated German university students´ attitude towards dogs, animal-assisted interventions and their interest in its use at their own university. Additionally, possible predictors were investigated. Another aim was the validation of the questionnaire. 560 university students answered a questionnaire consisting of the Coleman Dog Attitude Scale (C-DAS), a modification of the Attitude Towards Animal-Assisted Therapy Scale and a translated and modified version of the Cuestionario de Actitudes ante las Intervenciones Asistidas por Perros (CAINTAP). Results showed a slightly positive attitude towards dogs, animal-assisted interventions and interest in its use at the university. Furthermore, students´course of studies and sex have proven to be predictors. Thus, especially female students of educational science would welcome an implementation of animal-assisted interventions at the university. The questionnaire showed high quality with a Cronbach’s alpha α = .936.


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