Tation and time 3 post aat program mean scores div

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tation) and Time 3 (post AAT program) mean scores div-ided by the standard deviation of the Time 3 scores for the entire cohort (Cooper, Hedges, & Valentine, 2009). The current study aims to examine the efficacy of an AAT program incorporating structured sessions with dogs followed by social worker delivered sessions (with no dogs) that specifically refer back to, and build upon, experiences gained in the first 3 weeks, in reducing PTSD symptomatology in children who have experienced sex-ual abuse. Treatment adherence and differences (if any) in efficacy based on gender and Indigenous status will also be examined. Extant evidence suggests that AAT can be effective in lessening/improving the symptoms of PTSD, particularly those of avoidance, dissociation, and arousal, associated with child sexual abuse. Accord-ingly, it is hypothesized that trauma symptoms will sig-nificantly decrease following participation in an AAT program (Time 2 symptoms >Time 3 symptoms). It is anticipated that the change in trauma symptoms observed between intake into therapy (Time 1) and pre-AAT (Time 2) compared to the change observed pre-AAT (Time 2) and post-AAT (Time 3) will be sig-nificantly greater between Time 2 and Time 3 than Time 1 and Time 2, indicating the efficacy of the treatment. As a measure of the acceptability and broader impact of the AAT program written feedback solicited from parents/ guardians at Time 3 will also be considered. Method Participants This article presents the outcomes for 20 children (12 male, 8 female) who were referred to Phoenix House 84T. SIGNAL ET AL.
(PH) (formerly Bundaberg Area Sexual Assault Service) for treatment following sexual abuse, and who com-pleted the entirety of a 10 week AAT-based program. Three additional children (two female, one male) began the intervention; however, two of these withdrew due to after-school commitments or ill-health while one dis-played violent and aggressive behavior during initial sessions and had to be removed. This reflects an 87% adherence rate to the treatment. Participants ranged in age from 5 to 12 years (M ¼8.0 years, SD ¼2.0) including seven (35%) identified as Indigenous. The specific details of each child’s case were not available to the university-based researchers with selection for inclusion made by the Director of PH from the list of children registered with the service. Given the range of ages, and concerns regarding possible contagion effects (see Dishion & Dodge, 2005, for a discussion of this), children of similar ages were grouped by the Direc-tor of PH and went through the program sequentially. All data were collected and subsequently sent in raw form (using participant codes) to the researchers mean-ing that those working directly with the children were not aware of the scores/outcomes until the entire project was complete. Consent to participate in the project was obtained primarily from the guardians of the children.

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