First Advisor

Lindley, Don

Second Advisor

McGrath, Jack


College for Professional Studies

Degree Name

MS Criminology


School of Humanities & Social Sciences

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

59 pages


Juvenile delinquent facilities have witnessed an increase in youthful offenders experiencing mental health disorders. Mental health clinicians have been required to implement new forms of mental health treatments to address the rise in this special population of juveniles. Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) has become a popular form of treatment in detention facilities. Qualitative data collection was administered using a focus group of three participants to examine clinicians' perceptions of juvenile participation during AAT. Clinicians perceived increased participation of juveniles participation in AAT. Clinicians also witnessed changes in juvenile behaviors within the detention facility, indicating juveniles participating in AAT were more relaxed and expressed more leadership than other juveniles. clinicians consistently reported the importance of implementing a screening process to identify appropriate clients as the participants believe AAT was not a good tool for all juveniles. Based on the perceptions of the clinicians, future research would focus on identifying an effective screening process for juvenile participants, as wells as evaluating the long-term effects of AAT regarding juvenile offenders.

Date of Award

Summer 2011

Location (Creation)

Colorado (state); Denver (county); Denver (inhabited place)

Rights Statement

All content in this Collection is owned by and subject to the exclusive control of Regis University and the authors of the materials. It is available only for research purposes and may not be used in violation of copyright laws or for unlawful purposes. The materials may not be downloaded in whole or in part without permission of the copyright holder or as otherwise authorized in the “fair use” standards of the U.S. copyright laws and regulations.