Tuesday April 24, 2018

Feeling homesick? Go for Animal-assisted Therapy to lead a satisfactory Life!

The participants who took eight weeks of dog therapy experienced significant reductions in homesickness and a greater increase in satisfaction with life

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Dog Therapy. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
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  • According to a research, Animal-assisted therapy may help first-year college students overcome homesickness and may help lower drop-out rates
  • The therapy includes 45-minute weekly sessions involving small group interactions with dogs and their handlers, and engagement with fellow students from the study
  • In a 2009 report conducted for B.C. Stats, 29 percent students who wanted to drop out, decided to stay

Toronto, Sept 09, 2016: Animal-assisted therapy can help first-year university students combat homesickness and could also be a useful tool in lowering drop-out rates, finds an interesting research.

Homesick students are three times more likely than those who manage their homesickness to disengage and drop out of university, the researchers said.

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“Transitioning from high school to university can prove to be a challenge for many first-year students,” said John Tyler Binfet, Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Okanagan, Canada.

In the study, the participants who completed eight weeks of dog therapy experienced significant reductions in homesickness and a greater increase in satisfaction with life.

Participants reported that sessions “felt like they were at home chatting with friends who brought their puppies.”

But the non-treatment group reported an increase in their feelings of homesickness, the study said.

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Dog therapy included 45-minute weekly sessions involving small group interactions with dogs and handlers, and engagement with other first-year students participating in the study.

For the study, published in the journal Anthrozoos, 44 first year university students who self-identified as homesick were given a survey to measure levels of homesickness, satisfaction with life and connectedness with the campus.

Half of the students completed eight weeks of dog therapy, while the other half were informed that their sessions would begin in eight weeks’ time.

A total of 29 per cent of students who dropped out cited more interactions and friendships with other students as a factor that would have influenced their decision to stay longer, according to a 2009 report conducted for B.C. Stats — the statistics agency for British Columbia in Canada.

“Moving to a new city, I did not know anyone at the university and became very homesick and depressed. I was mainly secluded in my dorm room and did not feel like I belonged here. Coming to animal assisted therapy sessions every Friday gave me a sense of purpose and kept me enthusiastic about life,” stated Varenka Kim, a student at UBC Okanagan. (IANS)

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  • Manthra koliyer

    Dog therapies can be one the best ways to solve all the problems people face.

  • Jagpreet Kaur Sandhu

    Wow! Sounds interesting, as they say dogs can be our best friends.

Next Story

Does Suspending Students From The Class Work?

The college and faculty should devise a program that lets students freely interact with the teaching staff about their concerns as SUSPENSION of students is not at all a solution

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Representational image for Suspension.
Suspension of students may lead to behavioural issues. Pixabay

Some BBA colleges believe that suspending students from class instils discipline
and in return changes their behaviour. However, this approach is not the right way to
fix problems. Especially, when they have just entered adulthood and are on the
verge of either making or breaking their life. Faculty members should try and dig out
the reason that’s triggering inappropriate behaviour in students. The questions they
need to ask themselves is why they are not learning and why they are showcasing a
weird behaviour. Faculty members must understand that suspension does not fix
behavioural issues, it often makes it worse. For example, MBA, B. Tech and BBA subjects are comprehensive and suspending a student from any of the classes will
make them lose interest in the particular subject. This loss of interest will hamper
grades as the student will not be able to cover the losses due to suspension.

How To Understand the causes of inappropriate behaviour

Faculty members must understand the cause behind inappropriate behaviour with an
aim to guide the students. Behavioural issues can be because of multiple reasons,
some of them include:
 Frustration due to inability to understand the subject
 They are made to feel inadequate
 Unintentionally or intentionally students/teachers are picking on them
 Their efforts are not appreciated
 Biased behaviour of faculty (favouritism)

Suspension may lead to depression.
Suspension may lead to depression. Pixabay

Let’s look why suspension does not work if the student is under any of the above-
mentioned mental state.

Decreased Confidence

With every suspension, students start losing confidence and start believing they are
good for nothing. Even if they wish to give a genuine try, the thought of another
suspension keeps them away from attending classes. Furthermore, they also start
feeling humiliated in front of those who never get suspended and score well. Instead
of suspension, the faculty should sit and have a weekly session with rule-abiding
students to understand what leads to such behavioural issues.

Increased Rebellious Attitude

Faculty members must understand that repeat suspensions instil a rebellious attitude
in students and they might skip the classes for the entire semester. The approach
will not only affect their attendance but their grades as well. The higher the number
of suspensions the lower the scores. Thus, the faculty should maintain a low rate of
suspensions to have no impact on the scores and performance of the suspended
students.

They Become Habitual

The faculty members think that suspension is one of the best ways to handle
disciplinary actions. It might be true in some cases, but one of the most significant
disadvantages it carries with itself is that students become habitual of the suspension. Instead of taking it as a punishment for their betterment, they start
looking forward to suspension so that they can have a great time loitering around the
campus or chilling with friends in the canteen. Here again comes the importance of
maintaining a low rate of suspensions for effective results.

Also Read: 4 Health Tips To Help Students Perform Well In Exam Season

A Close Look at Suspensions

Though suspension seems to be the right choice to change a student’s behaviour, is
the result even effective? Do students fear the suspension? Do they feel sorry about
being regularly suspended? Well, these are the questions faculty members should
keep in mind before they go ahead and suspend any student. As a solution, they
should make the students understand that all this is being done with an aim to help
them. The college and faculty should devise a program that lets students freely
interact with the teaching staff about their concerns. That is the key. Students should
feel that they are an essential part of the education system – they should feel
wanted.