Pendry said the experimental design underlying the study gives more scientific credit to the claims of therapeutic horsemanship professionals, parents and children who have reported a positive impact from these types of programs. In addition, she hopes the results will lead to development of alternative after-school programs.
While the research focused on prevention, Pendry said she believes it could provide a starting point to look at the impact on children of high levels of stress and physical or mental health issues.
"Partly because of NIH's effort to bring hard science to the field of human-animal interaction, program implementers now have scientific evidence to support what they are doing," she said.
|Contact: Patricia Pendry|
Washington State University