Animal-Human Connections Syllabus 2006
Christina Risley-Curtiss,MSSW, PhD
Arizona State University School of Social Work
Tempe, AZ 85287-1802
Office Phone: 480-965-6076; Home: 623-936-8133
West Hall 226: Office hours: 4-5 pm Mondays, other days by appointment
email: [email protected]
I. COURSE DESCRIPTION
This course focuses on two broad areas of current significance
for social work practice; (1) the link between animal cruelty
and other forms of violence such as domestic violence, child and
elder abuse; and (2) the powerful potential that positive connections
with animals have for healing and promoting resiliency in human
beings while at the same time benefitting the animals. This course
examines issues of prevention and treatment and builds practice
skills in both areas. It considers animal cruelty and healing
animal connections within an ecological and empowerment context;
and works to build sensitivity to various cultural contexts.
II. RATIONALE FOR COURSE
Animals are an integral part of the lives of many of the clients
that social workers serve. This may be in the form of violence
to animals as well as other family members, or as companions and/or
therapeutic supports. This course is designed to help the student
develop an understanding of the animal-human connection-both the
negative and positive sides-- and acquire some basic skills in
identifying animal cruelty and in accessing and utilizing animal-assisted
activities and therapy.
III. REQUIRED TEXTS
Ascione, F.R., & Arkow, P. (Eds.). (1999). Child abuse, domestic
violence, and animal abuse. Indiana: Purdue University Press
Fine, A. (2000). Handbook of animal -assisted therapy. CA: Academic
Jory, B. & Randour, M.L. (1999). The anicare model of treatment
for animal bbuse. Washington Grove, MD: PSYETA.
Other readings are on reserve in the library or if they have an
* they are available through the library e-journals or on-line.
IV. COURSE UNITS
Unit 1: Introduction and Overview of the Animal-Human Connection
Unit 2: Animal Cruelty
Unit 3: The Link between Animal Cruelty and Multiple Forms of
Unit 4: Assessment and Treatment of Animal Cruelty
Unit 5: Animals and Human Development
Unit 6: Animal -assisted Activities/therapy by Setting
Unit 7:Animal -assisted Activities/therapy by Population
Unit 8: Services for Individuals and Families with Animals
V. COURSE OBJECTIVES
1. Students will demonstrate knowledge of the scope and impact
of animal cruelty and the link with family violence.
2. Students will be able to identify characteristics and dynamics
of families with animal cruelty and corresponding intervention
3. Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of how family
structure, race and ethnicity, gender, social class, physical
challenge impact issues of animal-human connections.
4. Students will be able to identify a range of services available
to families with animals; and identify the gaps in such services.
5. Students will be aware of the value position that animals and
humans are interdependent, that animals are sentient beings that
feel pain and have communication and thinking skills, and that
animals are often considered family members.
6. Students will demonstrate awareness of personal his/herstory,
values, and attitudes and how they can affect service provision
in relation to the animal-human connection.
7. Students will appreciate the need for professional competence
in the provision of animal-human connection services.
8. Students will demonstrate assessment skills using an ecological
and strengths based perspective regarding animal cruelty and positive
9. Students will be able to demonstrate skills in helping families
and children with animal cruelty issues.
10. Students will be able to assess the service needs of families
and children with animal family members.
11. Students will be able to discuss the benefits of including
animals in social work intervention and identify the issues surrounding
VI. KEY CONCEPTS
The Link animal cruelty disaster preparedness &
animal assisted activities animal assisted therapy response
service animals zoonoses social catalyst
biophilia social support
interdisciplinary ecological approach
pet partner certification animal hoarding
AniCare compassion fatigue
Written Paper Assignments
NOTE that all papers are required to be typed, double-spaced,
and referenced using the APA
(American Psychological Association) format (see the Publication
Manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.), Washington,
DC. It is in the library or can be accessed through www.apastyle.org
or www.nutsandbolts.washcoll.edu/apa.html. The SSW Student Resource
Library will also have help. Credit will be taken off for not
using APA style for citations and references. If you think you
need help with this please let me know.
Writing quality (grammar, punctuation, spelling, organization,
etc.) is considered as part of your grade for each paper so I
would suggest that you have someone proofread and/or edit your
paper for you. In addition, the University does have a writing
lab. All papers should start with an introduction that states
the purpose of the paper.
Note that you should always make a hard copy, for yourself, of
any written assignment you hand in. Although it happens infrequently,
written assignments do sometimes get lost. To avoid any problems
make and keep a hard copy.
1. Article Critique: Identifying and Summarizing Relevant Information
From Published Research (15%) Due in class February 13. The purpose
of this assignment is to increase your skills in identifying relevant
information from published studies about animal-human connections.
To complete this assignment:
A. Locate either a qualitative or quantitative research-based
article (no more than 5 years old) that presents findings about
humans and animals. Make sure that the article is from a professional
source (rather than a popular magazine or non-peer-reviewed website).
Check with the instructor about whether an article is suitable
for this assignment and whether the assignment should be adjusted
given your academic level.
B. Because the class will be sharing the information that each
student selects, it is important that no 2 students select the
same article. You thus will need to inform the instructor of the
article you have selected-whoever is first to "claim"
an article "gets it."
C. Prepare a 1-page overview of the article. Be sure to include:
a. Complete citation in APA format
b. Description of the study sample (i.e., whether is was selected
randomly or purposively, sample size, gender, race or ethnicity,
age, other demographics reported in the article)
c. Context (e.g., nation, state, city, county, or other information
about where the study took place)
d. Whether the researcher(s) used a quantitative or qualitative
e. A list of the most interesting/important findings.
D. Turn in a copy of the article attached to the 1 page overview
and bring enough copies for all class members.
2. Animal Related Program Experience (30%) Due on April 12, 19
or April 26. Each student is to identify a therapeutic or other
animal-human program (can be a AAA, AAT or a service program such
as Project Safe House), visit the program, interview the director
of the program and observe the program in action. The student
is to prepare a 30 minute presentation that includes a description
of the program and its goals, how the program is implemented (demonstration),any
evaluation and/or oversite efforts, research on its efficacy,
a reference list, and a 1 page handout summarizing this information.
You can also include pictures or video tapes of the program if
desired. In order that all students don't cover the same program
you need to inform the instructor as to your choice of programs
and get okay. Be creative!
3. Self Designed Assignment (40%) Due April 26. Each student
is design their own final project/paper to meet their own learning
needs and interests. A written summary or outline of the final
project will be submitted to the instructor by or before April
5, 2006 in order for the instructor to determine the acceptability
of the effort by program level (BA/BS, Masters, PhD), by goal,
and by relevance to class material. It would be helpful if you
were to meet with the instructor prior to this to discuss ideas
for projects (we might do this in class).
4. Follow-up Plan (15%) Due last day of class Each student will
turn in the last day of class a one page plan outlining how you
will use what you have learned in this class to promote positive
animal-human connections in work with individual clients, communities,
organizations or society as a whole. The plan must include:
1. At least one goal
2. Specific steps that may be taken to accomplish the goal and,
3. A time frame for carrying the steps out.
5. Participation (5 points)
We are lucky-this is a small class. But it also means that class
attendance and participation are even more critical. Thus consistent
attendance and informed participation are worth 5 points.
Grading Criteria for All Assignments
a. Organization and clarity of ideas presented, including an introduction
and summary section.
b. Adequacy and thoroughness of responses to all instructions
in the assignment.
c. Ability to use class and reading material in critical analysis
d. Use of and integration of supportive data and ideas from the
literature, properly cited and referenced in APA style (5th ed.),
and from practice.
e. Writing quality (e.g., proper use of punctuation, correct grammar,
spelling and sentence structure); proper use on non-sexist/non-racist
A = 91 - 100 points
B = 81 - 90.99 points
C = 71 - 80.99 points
D = 61- 70.99 points
E = below 60 points
Self Designed Project 35 points
Program Presentation 30 points
Article Critique 15 points Follow-up Plan 15 points Participation
5 points 100 points Grading Philosophy
A- Outstanding Achievement. Student evidences in written presentations
and class participation exceptional knowledge of class material
(e.g., class lectures and literature--independent review of literature,
creative and innovative use of literature and knowledge of relevant
research) and ability to apply class material analytically to
B-Satisfactory Achievement. Student evidences in written presentations
and class participation a constantly competent grasp of the class
material (lectures and literature) analytically in practice situations.
A majority of the class is expected to attain this level of performance.
C-Minimally Acceptable Achievement. Student reflects inconsistent
grasp of class material (lectures and literature) and ability
to apply class material analytically in practice situations. When
student is determined to be functioning at this level, formal
written notification by instructor is provided to student and
D, E-Unacceptable. (No credit). Student evidences lack of understanding
of major concepts of direct practice or does not evidence ability
to apply class material such as lectures and literature analytically
to practice situation.
**NOTE that the following class schedule for topics is tentative
and may be altered depending on our progress.
January 23 & 30: Unit 1: Introduction and Overview of the
Animal-Human Connection Course
Ascione & Arkow (1999) pg 3-49.
Fine (2000), pg 3-19.
Adams, C.J. (1994). Bringing peace home: A feminist philosophical
perspective on the abuse of women, children and pet animals. In
R. Lockwood & F.R. Ascione (Eds.) Cruelty to animals and interpersonal
violence (318-339) . Indiana: Purdue University Press.
Collis, G.M. & McNichols,J. (1998). A theoretical basis for
health benefits of pet
ownership. In C. Wilson & D.C. Turner (Eds.) Companion Animals
in Human Health (pp 105-122). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
*Netting, E.E.,, Wilson, C.C., & New, J.C. (1987). The human-animal
bond: Implications for practice. Social Work, 32, 60-64.
Wilson, C. C. (1994). A conceptual framework for human animal
research: the challenge revisited. In C. Wilson & D.C. Turner
(Eds.) Companion Animals in Human Health (pp 61-89). Thousand
Oaks, CA: Sage.
*Wolf, D.B. (2000). Social work and speciesism. Social Work, 45,
February 6 & 13: Unit 2: Animal Cruelty (County Animla CReulty
Proscetor to speak on why prosecution is impartant and what he
needs for a good case).
Ascione & Arkow (1999), pg 199-208; 303-334.
Arluke, A. (2002). Animal abuse as dirty play. Symbolic Interaction,
*Arluke, A., Levin, J., Luke, C. & Ascione, F. (1999). The
relationship of animal abuse to violence and other forms of antisocial
behavior. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 14, 963-975.
*Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium. (2002). Health implications
of animal hoarding. Health & Social Work, 27, 125-136.
*Flynn, C.P. (2000). Why family professionals can no longer ignore
violence towards animals.
Family Relations, 49, 87-95.
February 13 & 20 (article critique due on 13th): Unit 3:
The Link between Animal Cruelty and Multiple Forms of Family Violence
Ascione & Arkow (1999), pg 50-61, 83-100; 109-175.
Fine (2000), pg 325-354.
Ascione, F. R. (1998). Battered women's report of their partner's
and their children's
cruelty to animals. In R. Lockwood & F.,R. Ascione (Eds.)
Cruelty to Animals and Interpersonal Violence (pp. 290-304). Indiana,
Purdue University Press.
*Faver, C.A., & Strand, E.B. (2003). Domestic violence and
animal cruelty: Untangling the web of abuse. Journal of Social
Work Education, 39, 237-253.
*Miller. C. (2001). Childhood animal cruelty and interpersonal
violence. Clinical Psychology Review, 21, 735-749.
February 27: Unit 4: Assessment and Treatment of Animal Cruelty
The AniCare Model of Treatment for Animal Abuse.
Ascione & Arkow (1999), pg 62-80; 343-379, 393-449.
March 6: ( Filed visit to our Sheriff's Animal Cruelty Investigation
and Animal No Kill Shelter Program)
March 13 SPRING BREAK
March 20: Unit 5: Animals and Human Development (including cultural
issues) (Speaker on how to decide if a pet is for you, what kind
of pet, the needs and costs of that pet, where to get pets and
what low cost services are available to help care for pet) Video
Ascione & Arkow (1999), pg 260-270, 380-392
Fine (2000), pg 41-78; 357-383.
*Johnson, R.A. & Meadows, R.L. (2002). Older Latinos, pets
and health. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 24, 609-620.
(Whole issue is on animals and people).
Meyers, B. (2002). Disenfranchised grief and the loss of an animal
companion. In K.J. Doka (Ed.) Disenfranchised grief: New directions,
challenges, and strategies for practice. IL: Research Press
*Paul. E.S. & Serpell, J.A. (1996). Obtaining a new pet dog:
Effects on middle childhood children and their families. Applied
Animal Behavior Science,47, 17-29.
Risley-Curtiss, C. & Holley, L. C., Cruickshank, T., Porcelli,
J., Rhoads, C., Murphy, S.B., Bacchus, D., & Hawkins, S. (In
press). "She was family:" Women of color and their animal-human
connections. AFFILIA. (I will provide through blackboard)
Risley-Curtiss, C., Holley, L.C. & Wolf, S. (In press). The
animal-human bond and ethnic diversity. Social Work. (I will provide
Robin, M. & ten Benzel, R. (1985). Pets and socialization
of children. In R.Lockwood & F.R. Ascione (Eds.) Cruelty to
animals and interpersonal violence (pp 105-120). Indiana: Purdue
*Sable, P. (1995). Pets, attachment, and well-being across the
life cycle. Social Work, 40, 334-341.
Siegel, J.M. (1995). Pet ownership and the importance of pets
among adolescents. Anthrozooz, 8, 217-223..
March 27,April 3 & 10 & 17 (Presentations April 3,10
& 17): Unit 6 & 7: Animal-assisted Activities/ therapy
by Setting & Populations
Fine (2000), pg 21-40; 81-149, 153-177; 179-323; 415-448.
Ascione & Arkow (1999), pg 393-442.
*Brodie, S.J. & Biley, F.C. (1999). An exploration of the
potential benefits of pet-facilitated therapy. Journal of Clinical
Nursing, 8, 329-337.
*Ebenstein, H., & Wortham, J. (2001). The value of pets in
geriatric practice: A program example. Journal of Gerontological
Social Work, 35(2), 99-115. (Not online but journal in library)
*Hanselman, J.L. (2002). Coping skills interventions with adolescents
in anger management using animals in therapy. Journal of Child
and Adolescent Group Therapy, 11(4), 159-195.
*Kehoe, M. (1990). Loneliness and the aging homosexual: Is pet
therapy an answer? Journal of Homosexuality, 20(3/4), 137-142.
(Not in e-journals but in hard copy)
*Margolies, L. (1999). The long goodbye: Women, companion animals
and maternal loss. Clinical Journal of Social Work, 27, 289-304.
Unit 8: Services for Individuals and Families with Animals (includes
disaster work) (speaker on compassion fatique and one on starting
a animal related non-profit)
*Rew, L. (2000). Friends and pets as companions: Strategies for
coping with the loneliness among homeless youth. Journal of Child
and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, 13, 125-140.
*Siegel, J.M. , Angulo, F.J., Detels, R., Wesch, J. & Mullen,
A. (1999). AIDS diagnosis and depression in the Multicenter AIDS
cohort study: the ameliorating impact of pet ownership. AIDS CARE,
May 1 Last Class (Follow-up Plan due)
I. The Positive Animal-Human Bond
Albert, A. & Bulcroft, K. (1988). Pets, families and the life
course. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 50, 543-552.
Ascione, F.R. & Arkow, P. (Eds.) (1999). Child abuse, domestic
violence, and animal abuse.
Indiana: Purdue University Press.
Abdill, M.N., & Juppe, D. (Eds.) (1997). Pets in therapy.
VA: Idyll Arbor, Inc.
Becker, M. (2002). The healing power of pets. NY: Hyperion.
Brown, S. (2002). Ethnic differences in pet attachment among students
at an American school of veterinary medicine. Society and Animals,
Brown, B.H., Richards, H.C., & Wilson, C.A. (1996). Pet bonding
and pet bereavement among adolescents. Journal of Counsleing and
Cusak, O. (1988). Pets and mental health. NY: The Haworth Press,
Fine, A. (2000). Handbook of animal -assisted therapy. CA: Academic
Gage, M.G. & Christensen, D.H. (19..). Early adolescents'
values about their pets. The Journal of Psychology, 12, 417-425.
Hirschman, E.C. (1994). Consumers and their companion animals.
Journal of Consumer Research, 20, 616-632.
Hooker, S.D., Free,am, L.H., & Stewart, P. (2002). Pet therapy
research: A historical review. Holistic Nurse Practitioner, 17,
Lago, D., Delaney, M., Miller, M. & Grill, C. (1989). Companion
animals, attitudes towards pets and health outcomes among the
elderly: A long-term follow-up. Anthrozooz, 3,25-34.
Levine, L. (2002). Cat-egorically family. SWS Network News, XIX(4),
Levinson, B. & Mallon, G.P. (1997). Pet-oriented child psychotherapy.
Il: Charles C Thomas.
Mackler, J.L. (1982). Teaching an old dog new tricks in family
therapy. Family Therapy, 9(3),305-310.
McCormick, A.R. & McCormick, M.D. (1997). Horse sense and
the human heart. Florida:
Health Communications, Inc.
McElroy, S.C. (1996). Animals as teachers and healers. OR: New
Melson, G.F. (2001). Why the wild things are. MA: Harvard University
Nebbe, L.L. (1995). Nature as a guide. Minneapolis, MN: Educational
Nies, M.A., Vollman, M., Cook, T. (1999). African American women's
experiences with physical activity in their daily lives. Public
Health Nursing, 16, 23-31.
Peretti, P.O. (1990). Elderly-animal freindship bonds. Social
Behavior and Personality,18, 151-156.
Poderscek, A.L., Paul, E.S., & Serpell, J.A. (2000). Companion
animals and us. NY: Cambridge University Press.
Poresky, R.H., Hendrix, C., Mosier, J.E., & Samuelson, M.L.
(19..). Children's pets and adults' self-concepts. Journal of
Psychology, 122, 463-469.
Reynolds, A. R. (1995). Bring me the ocean. MA: VanderWyk &
Serpell, J. Guest Editor's Introduction: Animals in Children's
Scully, M. (2002). Dominion. St Martin's Press.
Stallones, L., Johnson, T.P., Garrity, T.F., & Marx, M.B.
(1990). Quality of attachment ro companion animals among U.S.
adults 21 to 64 years of age. Anthrozooz,3, 171-176.
Staats, S., & Horner, K. (1999). Allocating time to people
andpets: Correlates with income and well-being in a mid-west community
sample. The Journal of Psychology, 133, 541-552.
Western Journal of Nursing, Volume 34, issue 6 is totally on animal-human
Wilson, C.C. & Turner, C.D. (Eds). (1998). Companion animals
in human health. CA: Sage.
Wilson, C.C. & Netting, F.E. (1987). New directions: Challenges
for human-animal bond research and the elderly. Journal of Applied
gerontology, 6, 189-200.
II. The Violent Animal-Human Connection
Ascione, F.R. (1997). Humane education research: Evaluating efforts
to encourage children's kindness and caring toward animals. Genetic,
Social and General Psychology Monographs, 123 (1), 57-77.
Ascione, F.R. (199?). Children who are cruel to animals: A review
of research and implications for developmental psychology. ANTHROZOOS,6(4),
Boat, B.W. (1995). The relationship between violence to children
and violence to animals: An ignored link? Journal of Interpersonal
Violence, 10, 229-235.
Cahill, S.E. (2002). Beastly bodies in human hands, heads and
hearts: Reflections on animal abuse as dirty play. Symbolic Interaction,
Felthouse, A.R., Kellert, S.R. (1987). Childhood cruelty to animals
and later aggression
against people: A review. American Journal of Psychiatry, 144(6),
Flynn, C.P. (1999). Exploring the link between corporal punishment
and children's cruelty to animals. Journal of Marriage and Family,
Flynn, C.P. (1999). Animal abuse in childhood and later support
for interpersonal violence in families. Society and Animals, 7(2),
Guymer, E.C., Mellor, D., Luk, E.S.L., & Pearse, V. (2001).
The development of a screening questionnaire for childhood cruelty
to animals. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 42, 1057-1063.
Lockwood, R., & Ascione, F. (Eds.). (1998). Cruelty to animals
and interpersonal violence:
Readings in research and application. Indiana: Purdue University
Merz-Perez, L., Heide, K.M. & Silverman, I.J. (2001). Childhood
cruelty to animals and subsequent violence against humans. International
Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 45(5),
Raupp, C.D. Treasuring, trashing and terrorizing: Adult outcomes
of childhood socialization with animals. PSYETA; http://www.psyeta.org/sa/sa7.2/raupp.html.
Sims, V.K., Chin, M.G., Eckman,M.L., Enck, B.M., & Abromaitis,
S.M. (2001). Caregiver attributions are not just for children:
Evidence for generalized low power schemas. Journal of Applied
Psychology, 22, 527-541.
Slavkin, M.L. (2001). Enuresis, firesetting, and cruelty to animals:
Does the ego triad show predictive validity? Adolescence, 36,
III. Some Websites & Organizations
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals www.phpcs.org
American Humane Association
Delta Society www.deltasociety.org
Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) www.eagala.org
Equine Facilitated Mental Health Association www.narha.org/sec_efmha
Humane Society of the United States www.hsus.org
Latham Foundation www.Latham.org
North American Riding for the Handicapped Association www.narha.org
PSYETA: Psychologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. www.psyeta.org