Date of Award

Spring 2009

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Master of Arts

First Advisor

David J Hebert


Though animal-assisted interventions (AAI) have been used in many institutional settings, there is little evidence of AAI use in public schools. This study examined attitudes of school counselors regarding the incorporation of AAI into their practice.

The Pet Attitude Scale Modified (PAS-M) was used to measure attitudes towards animals and was incorporated into an online survey containing items addressing knowledge, interest, and perception of benefits and challenges associated with AAI. A sample of 220 public school counselors completed the online survey. Most considered themselves knowledgeable about AAI (73%), approximately half were interested in using AAI (56%), "reducing stress and anxiety" and "allergies" were the most frequently identified benefit and challenge (86% and 84%, respectively). Positive attitudes towards animals were associated with an interest in utilizing AAI.