New Research Studies to Dig Deeper into the Health Benefits of Companion Animals for Vulnerable Populations | HABRI

New Research Studies to Dig Deeper into the Health Benefits of Companion Animals for Vulnerable Populations

Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) Funds 5 New Grants

Washington, D.C. (January 16, 2019) — The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) today announced funding for five new research projects focused on the positive effects of human-animal interaction on human health. These new studies will examine the influence of pet ownership, pet caretaking or animal-assisted therapy on a wide array of health conditions among a varied group of populations, including older adults, children with pediatric cancer, and suicidal adolescents.

“With human-animal interaction research more clearly documenting the impact of the human-animal bond on mental and physical health, it is important to support research on how companion animals can benefit vulnerable and at-risk populations,” said Bob Vetere, HABRI President and Chair of the Board of Trustees. “This new group of research projects is particularly exciting as two of the studies will add to existing HABRI research results on the benefits of dog walking for physical activity and the impact of therapy animal visitation on the quality of life of pediatric cancer patients. Two studies will look at mental health and preventing suicide among teenagers, a population that is often overlooked.”

Out of a total of more than 40 proposals received, HABRI has funded the following five research projects:

“As HABRI enters its sixth grant funding cycle, we look forward to supporting these important projects, which will help expand our knowledge of the many ways companion animals are essential to human health and wellness,” added Vetere.

Since HABRI’s founding in 2010, HABRI has funded 26 competitive research projects from institutions across the globe, and has supported the creation of the world’s most comprehensive online library of human-animal interaction research, bringing its research funding to more than $2.75 million.

The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) maintains the world’s largest online library of human-animal bond research and information; funds innovative research projects to scientifically document the health benefits of companion animals; and informs the public about human-animal bond research and the beneficial role of companion animals in society. For more information about HABRI, visit www.habri.org.

###

Contact

Jamie Baxter

jamie@theimpetusagency.com

775.322.4022

###

Press Releases
New Research to Study Effects of Service Dogs on Post 9-11 War Veterans with PTSD

The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) Foundation today announced it has awarded a $42,000 grant to Purdue University to lead a first-of-its-kind, controlled scientific study to measure the effects of service dogs on post 9-11 war veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and/or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Participants in the K9s For Warriors program, a nonprofit organization pairing war veterans with service dogs, will take part in the study. “While numerous studies have confirmed that companion animals help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has cited a lack of specific scientific evidence on the effectiveness of service animals for war veterans suffering from PTSD and TBI,” said HABRI Executive Director Steven Feldman. “We are committed to addressing this gap in peer-reviewed science so that every veteran who needs a service animal can get one.” PTSD is a prevalent and debilitating disorder that, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, affects nearly 20 percent of post 9-11 war veterans. Typically triggered by intense events and situations, symptoms of PTSD include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts. To explore the effect of service dogs on war veterans suffering from PTSD and TBI, the Purdue-led study will monitor the health and wellness of the K9s For Warriors participants including medical, physiological, and self-perception indicators. It is hypothesized that the veterans who have service dogs will demonstrate better health and wellness compared to those receiving other treatment services while on the waitlist for a service dog. “While there are existing PTSD treatments available for veterans, a number of them have limited effectiveness and high drop-out rates,” said Marguerite O’Haire, PhD, Purdue University. “This controlled research study will document the impact of service dogs on veterans, which may provide an effective addition...

Press Releases
Newly Published Study Shows Young Children with Pet Dogs Fare Better Than Those Without

Results of a just-published study led by researchers at The University of Western Australia and Telethon Kids Institute and funded by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) demonstrate that young children from dog-owning households are less likely to experience difficulties with their emotions and social interactions compared to children in households without a pet dog. The study was published in the journal Pediatric Research. “Our research found that having a family dog in the household was positively associated with young children’s social-emotional development,” said Dr. Hayley Christian, Associate Professor at The University of Western Australia and Telethon Kids Institute and Principal Investigator of the study. “Our research also supports spending time walking and playing with the dog for added benefits, and we hope these results will help parents, children and pets remain active at home during this time of physical distancing.” “Findings of this study demonstrate that, starting from a young age, the human-animal bond can play an important role in a child’s social and emotional development,” said Steven Feldman, Executive Director of HABRI. “HABRI is proud to support this important research, which will encourage more families to consider the benefits of dog ownership and more dog-owning families to spend quality time with their beloved pets.” The team of researchers at The University of Western Australia and Telethon Kids Institute, led by Dr. Christian, collected survey data from 1,646 households, taking into account children’s age, biological sex, sleep habits, screen time and parents’ education levels. Findings indicate that dog ownership is associated with improvements in wellbeing and social-emotional development in children. Specifically, in comparison to children in non-dog-owning households, children from dog-owning households were 23 percent less likely to have difficulties with their emotions and social interactions...

Press Releases
New Scientific Study: Dogs Improve Social Skills for Children with Autism

The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) and Green Chimneys announced the publication of a study exploring the effectiveness of an animal-assisted social skills intervention for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Research was conducted at Green Chimneys, a therapeutic school and treatment center for children facing social, emotional, and behavioral challenges. Findings demonstrate that incorporating therapy dogs in social skills training is a valid approach to teaching children with ASD to engage with peers and improve social interaction. “Not only do dogs appear to have a positive effect on children’s emotional states, but they can also be motivating factors that encourage social interaction and involvement,” said Dr. Joanna Becker, PhD, Sam and Myra Ross Institute Research Associate and the study’s principal investigator. “Animal-assisted interventions are a valid approach for teaching children with autism spectrum disorders the skills necessary to engage with peers, family members, and the larger community.” Dr. Becker, along with co-PIs Dr. Erica Rogers and Dr. Bethany Burrows, analyzed 31 Green Chimneys students ages 8-14 diagnosed with ASD and compared social and emotional functioning before and after the intervention. Students either participated in an animal-assisted social skills group or in a traditional social skills training group without an animal present. Findings showed that the inclusion of dogs in social skills training was more effective than traditional programs. Specifically, participants who received the animal-assisted social skills intervention exhibited fewer social skills deficits overall, fewer restricted and repetitive behaviors, and more typical social communication following the intervention. The study also found that participants who received the animal-assisted social skills intervention exhibited a greater level of change in social skills, perspective taking, theory of mind, and decreased feelings of isolation...

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!