Animals have been used to accommodate mental health issues for decades. Many researchers believe that provide drastic benefits to those battling mental health disorders including Autism in teens, depression, anxiety, and addiction. According to a recent article by Science Daily, owning a dog reduces stress and significantly improves functioning in families dealing with autism in teens. The article discusses recent research conducted by The University of Lincoln, UK.

Research on Animals Effect on Families Dealing with Autism in Teens

The study focused on the effects dogs have on families dealing with autism in teens. It has been proven over time that animal-assisted therapy is a beneficial tool for autism in teens, but this study is the first to examine how pet dog ownership can also improve the lives of those more widely affected by autism. The study first looked at how having a dog affected the family and friends of those dealing with autism in teens.
Professor Daniel Mills, Professor of Veterinary Behavioral Medicine in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Lincoln states:

“We found a significant, positive relationship between parenting stress of the child’s main caregiver and their attachment to the family dog. This highlights the importance of the bond between the care (giver) and their dog in the benefits they gain.”

Parents with children dealing with autism in teens who also owned dogs experienced a continuing decrease in stress over time. Researchers did not see the same reductions of stress in families that were studied who did not have a pet dog.
Parents dealing with autism in teens can experience increased anxiety and stress, this study provides strong evidence to show that pets can have a positive effect on the quality of life in families. Considering pet ownership could improve family harmony and wellbeing.

Seven Stars Can Help

Seven Stars is an adventure therapy program for 13 to 18-year-old teens. Our students commonly deal with issues such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, trauma, and other behavioral challenges.
Call us today at (844) 601-1167 for more information on our adventure therapy program and how we can help.

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