Date of Graduation

Fall 2016

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Major

Nursing RN/BSN Akron

Research Sponsor

Christine Heifner Graor

First Reader

Karen Fitzgerald

Second Reader

Alan Kornspan

Abstract

Therapeutic horseback riding (THR) has positive health related outcomes in children with developmental disabilities. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of a 10-week THR intervention on balance and task-specific self-efficacy in children with developmental disabilities. Bandura’s social cognitive theory and the physical stress theory guided the quasi-experimental study. A pre-test post-test design (N=20) was implemented with a 10-week THR class at a riding center in Midwest United States. The first research question was: In children with developmental disabilities ages 5 to 18, does one 10-week session of THR affect balance? With time 1 balance mean at 52.55 (SD=3.65) and time 2 balance mean at 54.15 (SD=1.63), a paired t-test revealed a significant difference in within-subject balance (t= -2.43, p = 0.025). The second research question was: In children with developmental disabilities ages 5 to 18, does a 10-week course of THR affect task-specific self-efficacy? With time 1 self-efficacy mean at 42.7 (SD=5.63) and time 2 self-efficacy mean at 48.10 (SD=2.19), a paired t-test revealed a significant difference in within-subject means (t= -5.08, p< 0.001). Therefore, both balance and self-efficacy were significantly increased after a 10-week THR intervention.

Comments

The Effect of Therapeutic Horseback Riding on Balance and Self-Efficacy in Children with Developmental Disabilities

Lauren Hurley, Alexandra Smola

The University of Akron

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