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TOPIC: Could Man’s Best Friend Improve Teens’ Mood?

Could Man’s Best Friend Improve Teens’ Mood? 04 Jun 2013 16:51 #187

Could Man’s Best Friend Improve Teens’ Mood?
Posted June 4, 2013 by Rick Nauert PHD reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D

A new study shows that playing with dogs can lift the mood of teenagers while they receive residential drug and alcohol treatment.

Lindsay Ellsworth, a doctoral candidate at Washington State University, discovered using shelter dogs to interact with adolescents can significantly improve the mood of the teens and provide a cost-effective alternative to conventional care.

“We found one of the most robust effects of interacting with the dogs was increased joviality,” she said.

“Some of the words the boys used to describe their moods after working with the dogs were ‘excited,’ ‘energetic’ ‘and happy.’”

The relationship between dogs and humans is prehistoric, but Ellsworth’s study is the first of its kind to demonstrate how such interactions improve mood among teenagers living in residential treatment centers.


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