Therapeutic Horseback Riding and Self-Concept in Adolescents with Special Educational Needs

Authors: Cawley, Roger; Cawley, Doreen; Retter, Kristen

Source: Anthrozoos: A Multidisciplinary Journal of The Interactions of People & Animals, 1 June 1994, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 129-134(6)


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The purpose of this study was to determine if a relationship exists between participation in a therapeutic riding program and improvement in self-concept. Using a One Group Pre and Post Test design, the Piers Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale was administered to 29 adolescents identified by the school system as having special educational needs. These students participated in a therapeutic riding program. The mean percentage score of those participants who had no previous riding experience was not statistically significant; however, there was an increase. A t-value of 2.17 (df=22) was obtained on the two-tailed paired t-test conducted on the Behavior Cluster scores. This was statistically significant at the .05 level. Also, there was a positive correlation between younger students and improvement in self-concept scores. Furthermore, those participants who had previous therapeutic riding experience started with a mean score of 80%, as compared with 52% for those with no previous experience.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 1994

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