Presentation Title

Adults with ASD: Therapeutic Riding and Observed Social Behaviors and Stress Levels

Start Date

April 2020

End Date

April 2020

Major Field of Study

Psychology

Student Type

Undergraduate - Honors

Faculty Mentor(s)

Veronica Fruiht, PhD

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

Therapeutic riding (TR) is a multisensory experience that increases mental and physical heath by emphasizing skills such as verbal and non-verbal communication, behavioral and emotional control, and attention; additionally, improvements in balance and muscle strength occur in the rider (Bass et al., 2009). Due to its stimulation of many domains, children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have responded well to TR, demonstrating improvements in physical, cognitive, and social functioning, specifically in appropriate social responses and social motivation (Ward et al., 2013). However, the present literature is lacking in research on how adults with ASD are impacted by participation in TR. The goal of the present study is to determine the impact of TR on social responsiveness and stress levels on adults with ASD. This study included a sample of 15 therapeutic riding instructors from facilities in California. Instructors reported on the social responsiveness and stress levels of their adult riders with ASD at the start and end of six weeks of TR. The Adult Social Behavior Scale- Other Report (Horwitz et al., 2016) and an adapted version of the Perceived Stress Scale (Cohen at al., 1983) were used as pre-and post-tests to compare the changes over time. Results of the paired sample t-tests are expected to show increases in observed social behaviors including contact, empathy, and interpersonal insight and decreases in violations of social conventions and observed stress. These findings will extend past research on the positive impact of TR on social behaviors to adults with ASD and also demonstrate how stress levels can be influenced by therapeutic riding or individuals on the autism spectrum.

keywords: adults, ASD, therapeutic riding, social, stress

Comments

This presentation was accepted for the Scholarly and Creative Works Conference at Dominican University of California. The Conference was canceled due to the Covid-19 Pandemic

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 22nd, 10:00 AM Apr 22nd, 8:00 PM

Adults with ASD: Therapeutic Riding and Observed Social Behaviors and Stress Levels

Therapeutic riding (TR) is a multisensory experience that increases mental and physical heath by emphasizing skills such as verbal and non-verbal communication, behavioral and emotional control, and attention; additionally, improvements in balance and muscle strength occur in the rider (Bass et al., 2009). Due to its stimulation of many domains, children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have responded well to TR, demonstrating improvements in physical, cognitive, and social functioning, specifically in appropriate social responses and social motivation (Ward et al., 2013). However, the present literature is lacking in research on how adults with ASD are impacted by participation in TR. The goal of the present study is to determine the impact of TR on social responsiveness and stress levels on adults with ASD. This study included a sample of 15 therapeutic riding instructors from facilities in California. Instructors reported on the social responsiveness and stress levels of their adult riders with ASD at the start and end of six weeks of TR. The Adult Social Behavior Scale- Other Report (Horwitz et al., 2016) and an adapted version of the Perceived Stress Scale (Cohen at al., 1983) were used as pre-and post-tests to compare the changes over time. Results of the paired sample t-tests are expected to show increases in observed social behaviors including contact, empathy, and interpersonal insight and decreases in violations of social conventions and observed stress. These findings will extend past research on the positive impact of TR on social behaviors to adults with ASD and also demonstrate how stress levels can be influenced by therapeutic riding or individuals on the autism spectrum.

keywords: adults, ASD, therapeutic riding, social, stress