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Animal-assisted Stress Reduction Programs in Higher Education


This study investigated the prevalence of increasingly popular animal-assisted stress relief programs at higher education institutions across the United States. Although research on animal-assisted programs is increasing, there is still a lack of information documenting implementation of these programs. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore the prevalence, structure, and policies around animal-assisted programs. Data from 68 schools across the U.S. revealed that animal visitation at higher education institutions is popular, and some schools have instituted formalized programs. However, there is an overall lack of knowledge regarding standards and requirements that would increase the safety and effectiveness of these programs.

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Correspondence to Julie M. Haggerty.

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Haggerty, J.M., Mueller, M.K. Animal-assisted Stress Reduction Programs in Higher Education. Innov High Educ 42, 379–389 (2017).

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  • Animal-assisted interventions
  • Animal-assisted activities
  • Animal-assisted stress relief programs
  • Human-animal interaction
  • Animal visitation