Acquiring a pet dog significantly reduces stress of primary carers for children with autism spectrum disorder: a prospective case control study

Wright, H. and Hall, S. and Hames, A. and Hardiman, J. and Mills, R. and Mills, D. (2015) Acquiring a pet dog significantly reduces stress of primary carers for children with autism spectrum disorder: a prospective case control study. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 45 (8). pp. 2531-2540. ISSN 0162-3257

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10803-015-2418-5

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Abstract

This study describes the impact of pet dogs on stress of primary carers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Stress levels of 38 primary carers acquiring a dog and 24 controls not acquiring a dog were sampled at: Pre-intervention (17 weeks before acquiring a dog), post-intervention (3–10 weeks after acquisition) and follow-up (25–40 weeks after acquisition), using the Parenting Stress Index. Analysis revealed significant improvements in the intervention compared to the control group for Total Stress, Parental Distress and Difficult Child. A significant number of parents in the intervention group moved from clinically high to normal levels of Parental Distress. The results highlight the potential of pet dogs to reduce stress in primary carers of children with an ASD.

Keywords:ASD, autism, child, family, dogs, intervention
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:17015
Deposited On:05 Apr 2015 23:23

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