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Measuring the Effects of a Therapy Dog Assisted Reading Intervention for Third-Grade Students with Dyslexia: A Mixed Methods Case Study

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dc.contributor.author Clune, Mary Elizabeth
dc.date.accessioned 2019-11-19T16:39:19Z
dc.date.available 2019-11-19T16:39:19Z
dc.date.issued 2019-11-19
dc.identifier.citation M.E. Clune, "Measuring the Effects of a Therapy Dog Assisted Reading Intervention for Third-Grade Students with Dyslexia: A Mixed Methods Case Study", Ph.D. dissertation, School of Education, Univ. of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, CT, 2019. en_US
dc.identifier.uri https://scholarworks.bridgeport.edu/xmlui/handle/123456789/4311
dc.description.abstract Students with dyslexia often struggle with literacy acquisition and require reading interventions to improve their skills. This sequential mixed methods case study examines how a reading intervention that utilizes a therapy dog affects reading fluency, anxiety, motivation, and self-efficacy among third-grade students with dyslexia. Seven students were provided with a reading intervention in which they practiced oral reading twice per week for twenty minutes with a teacher certified in special education and a registered therapy dog. Four students had the intervention with the therapy dog present and three students had the intervention without the therapy dog present. Quantitative pre- and post-intervention data on reading fluency as measured by the easyCBM Passage Reading Fluency Assessment, anxiety, as measured by the Abbreviated Reading Anxiety Questionnaire, and motivation, as measured by the Motivation to Read Profile, was collected. Qualitative data on feelings of self-efficacy among students in the therapy dog group were collected through individual interviews with the participating teacher in addition to observational data. Inferential statistics were not possible because of the small sample size; however, percent changes from pre- to post-test were calculated for each measure. Findings support the use of therapy dogs as a tool to augment strong literacy instruction and support the social emotional needs of students. Students in the therapy dog group showed greater percent increases in reading fluency from pre- to post- assessment than students in the non-dog group; greater percent decreases in their levels of anxiety from pre- to post- assessment; and an increase in total reading motivation and self-concept as readers. Themes of ‘reading enjoyment’, ‘improved reading confidence’, and ‘decreased anxiety’ emerged through interviews on how students with dyslexia feel about their self-efficacy as readers when in the presence of a therapy dog. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject Therapy dog en_US
dc.subject Reading disability en_US
dc.subject Dyslexia en_US
dc.title Measuring the Effects of a Therapy Dog Assisted Reading Intervention for Third-Grade Students with Dyslexia: A Mixed Methods Case Study en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.institute.department School of Education en_US
dc.institute.name University of Bridgeport en_US


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