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The Relationship between the Presence of a Courthouse Dog and Anxiety in Victims

23 July 2018


Courthouse Dogs are being utilized to help ease anxiety related to the judicial process for crime victims across the country. While there is anecdotal support for the use of Courthouse Dog programs, they lack support from empirical evidence. The purpose of this study was to provide the first piece of direct evidence in support of the use of Courthouse Dogs with adults, and to contribute to the existing research regarding the effects that the presence of any dog might have on subjective anxiety in adult populations. Eleven individuals were recruited from Yamhill County Courthouse in McMinnville, Oregon to participate in this exploratory survey study. Results suggest that the presence of a Courthouse Dog may lower subjective anxiety; however, as discussed in the limitations and future research sections, replication studies and studies with stronger methodologies are needed.


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