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Date of Award


Degree Type

Thesis (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Clinical Psychology (MSCP)

Committee Chair

Catherine Miller, Ph.D.


A review of the literature on pets' effects on mental health was undertaken. A critique of the literature investigated the elderly and terminally ill populations' reactions to pet interventions, such as Animal-Assisted Therapy, as it pertained to depression and anxiety. Despite lack of rigor and the need for additional research studies, the consensus is that pet interventions such as Animal-Assisted Therapy are effective in lessening or influencing positive change in levels of depression and anxiety experienced by these populations.