Date of Award

12-2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Jeff Wallis

Second Supervisor

Fran Wills

Abstract

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a historically significant problem for soldiers and Marines in the United States military. A host of recent research supports this claim, and lends itself to the question of why more is not being done to help those who suffer from combat related stress (Friedman, 2011; Kuehn, 2012; Marlantes, 2011; Sher, Braquehais, & Casas, 2012). When considering what effect service dogs might have on the mental health status of United States veterans, this study focused on the following research questions based on the SF-36v2 Mental Health Survey: What effect does partnership with a service dog have on veterans’ vitality (VT)? What effect does partnership with a service dog have on veterans’ social functioning (SF)? What effect does partnership with a service dog have on veterans’ role-emotional health (RE)? What effect does partnership with a service dog have on veterans’ overall mental health (MH)? This study used a pre-and post-test survey research design, with surveys administered to five veterans who were due to obtain a service dog from Patriot Paws in Rockwall, Texas. Data gathered from the SF-36v2 Survey responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics to summarize reports generated by the SF-36v2 Survey Scoring Software Program.

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