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Sit, stay, heal: Study finds therapy dogs help stressed university students

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Guest Nicole

Date:

March 12, 2018

Source:

University of British Columbia

Summary:

Therapy dog sessions for stressed-out students are an increasingly popular offering at North American universities. Now, new research confirms that some doggy one-on-one time really can do the trick of boosting student wellness.

Therapy dog sessions for stressed-out students are an increasingly popular offering at North American universities. Now, new research from the University of British Columbia confirms that some doggy one-on-one time really can do the trick of boosting student wellness.

"Therapy dog sessions are becoming more popular on university campuses, but there has been surprisingly little research on how much attending a single drop-in therapy dog session actually helps students," said Emma Ward-Griffin, the study's lead author and research assistant in the UBC department of psychology. "Our findings suggest that therapy dog sessions have a measurable, positive effect on the wellbeing of university students, particularly on stress reduction and feelings of negativity."

In research published today in Stress and Health, researchers surveyed 246 students before and after they spent time in a drop-in therapy dog session. Students were free to pet, cuddle and chat with seven to 12 canine companions during the sessions. They also filled out questionnaires immediately before and after the session, and again about 10 hours later.

The researchers found that participants reported significant reductions in stress as well as increased happiness and energy immediately following the session, compared to a control group of students who did not spend time at a therapy dog session. While feelings of happiness and life satisfaction did not appear to last, some effects did.

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After Trump won the election, so many Liberal Snowflake college students were stressed out that they had to make safe spaces on campus where it was prohibited to mention that Trump had won the election, and the students were supplied with teddy bears, and crayons, and coloring books ... all at government expense.

The administrators considered providing them therapy puppies to relieve their stress, but were afraid the students would eat them.

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