Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Dr. Carolyn McAllister, Faculty Supervisor Social Work


This research study examines factors that influence a social worker’s willingness to utilize animals in therapy, specifically equine assisted psychotherapy. Equine assisted psychotherapy is an experiential therapy involving horses for the treatment of mental and behavioral health issues. The study uses quantitative data. The sample population is Bachelors of Social Work (BSW) and Masters of Social Work (MSW) students attending a University in Southern California. The participants were provided an electronic self-administered survey through their University email account. The data collected was analyzed and the results were provided to the University. The results indicate a relationship between several variables, such as previously owning and/or caring for a pet and fondness of animals, however, there are likely other factors that predict the use of equine assisted therapy that were not explored in this study. The results of this study will help raise awareness about equine assisted psychotherapy and the benefits of utilizing this non-traditional treatment.

Included in

Social Work Commons