This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution Licensewhich permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Abstract The purpose of this paper is to review and critique studies that have been conducted on dolphin-assisted therapy for children with various disorders.
They ask no questions and they pass no criticism.
Most Americans are animal lovers; about 63 percent of U. Several, but not all, studies suggest that those of us who own pets tend to be somewhat happier than those of us who do not. In addition, research by Erika Friedmann and her colleagues at the University of Maryland School of Nursing shows that pet ownership predicts one-year survival rates among victims of heart attacks.
Though interesting and potentially important, studies such as these are difficult to interpret because pet owners may differ in unmeasured ways from people who do not own pets.
For example, pet owners may be better adjusted psychologically and have fewer cardiac risk factors they may eat healthier diets and experience lower levels of hostility than non—pet owners. To unravel the potential influences of pets on well-being, researchers must conduct experiments that randomly assign some people, but not others, to receive a pet, either in the laboratory or in their home.
In contrast, the presence of a friend does not. These studies suggest that the presence of pets may lower our blood pressure and stress levels, although they do not tell us the reasons for this effect. They also do not inform us whether we would observe similar effects with other preferred stimuli, such as a good luck charm or a favorite doll.
Few would contest the claim that pets can give us comfort, especially in times of strain or loneliness. A far more controversial question concerns the effectiveness of animal-assisted therapy AATdefined as the use of an animal as either a treatment by itself or an addition to an existing treatment, such as psychotherapy.
The animals used in various forms of AAT are a veritable menagerie: In turn, the psychological problems for which AATs are used include schizophrenia, clinical depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism and a host of developmental disabilities.
Rice and her colleagues revealed that 21 percent of therapists in the psychotherapy division of the American Psychological Association incorporated animals into their treatment in some fashion.
Whether this percentage has changed in 35 years is unknown. Therapy Do AATs work? To make some inroads into this question, we need to distinguish between two different uses of animals: Some uses of animals are purely recreational: Probably the most extensively researched AAT is dolphin-assisted therapy DATwhich is most commonly used for children with autism or other developmental disabilities.
DAT is practiced not only in the U. Typically during DAT sessions children interact with a captive dolphin in the water while performing rudimentary manual tasks, such as placing rings on a peg. Do the data support these assertions?
Emory University psychologist Lori Marino and one of us Lilienfeld have examined the research findings regarding DAT in two reviews, one published in and the second in In many cases, researchers had shown only that children who received DAT displayed improvements on some psychological measures as compared with children who did not.
Yet such results do not exclude the possibility that these changes would have occurred with the mere passage of time. In still other cases, researchers did not rule out the possibility that reported improvements were merely short-term mood effects rather than lasting changes in symptoms.
Finally, no researcher adequately excluded the possibility that the observed effects could have been produced by any animal or, for that matter, by any highly pleasurable stimulus. The research literature for other AATs appears to be no more definitive.
After all, if children seem to enjoy them and parents are willing to pay for them, why worry? There are at least three reasons. Because of such costs, parents and children may forfeit the chance to seek out effective treatments. Second, at least some AATs may be physically hazardous.
For example, in DAT it is not legally required that dolphins be screened for infectious diseases. Moreover, there have been multiple reports of children injured by dolphins in DAT sessions.2. Overview of DAT. Dolphin assisted therapy has been used with the aim of treating individuals identified as having mental and physical disabilities for over 25 years.
DAT is a type of animal-assisted therapy that claims to help those who are physically and mentally ill and disabled as well as adults and children with various psychopathologies. Dolphin is a common name of aquatic mammals within the order Cetacea, arbitrarily excluding whales and plombier-nemours.com term dolphin usually refers to the extant families Delphinidae (the oceanic dolphins), Platanistidae (the Indian river dolphins), Iniidae (the new world river dolphins), and Pontoporiidae (the brackish dolphins), and the extinct Lipotidae (baiji or Chinese river dolphin).
DAT is practiced not only in the U.S.—primarily in Florida and Hawaii—but also in Mexico, Israel, Russia, Japan, China and the Bahamas, among other countries. Typically during DAT sessions children interact with a captive dolphin in the water while performing rudimentary manual tasks, such as placing rings on a peg.
The Promise of Dolphin-Assisted Therapy.
has taken a reckless turn and has led to the evolution of a treatment known as dolphin-assisted therapy (DAT) . There is much controversy in. Dolphin-Assisted Therapy – More Flawed Data and Conclusions This peer-reviewed study is a return to the DAT literature almost ten years after the first.
Nearly a decade after the original paper there is still no scientific evidence that DAT is legitimate therapy. is and in to a was not you i of it the be he his but for are this that by on at they with which she or from had we will have an what been one if would who has her.