Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford

Animal-Assisted Intervention

  • Elise R. ThayerEmail author
  • Jeffrey R. Stevens
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_2057-1
  • 76 Downloads

Definition

Animal-assisted interventions are professionally facilitated interactions between an unfamiliar animal and a person or group used to improve individual health or well-being. Types of interventions include animal-assisted therapy, education, and activities.

Introduction

Animal-assisted interventions (AAIs) are a subset of human-animal interactions, a fundamental aspect of the human experience that captures the mutual and dynamic exchanges between people and other animals. Distinguished from affiliative relationships (pets), service dogs, and emotional support animals, AAIs involve interactions facilitated by a trained professional or paraprofessional (e.g., handlers, researchers, teachers, therapists) where an unfamiliar animal serves to confer psychophysiological benefits to a person or group. Dogs are the most commonly used animals in AAIs, though many incorporate horses or other species. Interventions are diverse in delivery, environment, purpose, structure, and...

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References

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Center for Brain, Biology and BehaviorUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Jennifer Vonk
    • 1
  1. 1.Oakland UniversityRochesterUSA