본 연구는 반려견을 활용한 동물매개중재(Animal-Assisted Therapy: AAT)가 지적장애 성인의 사회적 기술 향상에 어떠한 영향을 미치는지 알아보고자 하였다. 이를 위하여 사회복지시설에 거주하는 지적장애 성인 3명을 선정하여 주 1회씩 총 21회기에 걸쳐 동물매개중재를 실시하였으며, 각 대상자별로 반려견 1두, 동물매개중재 활동사 1명, 관찰자 2명이 함께 진행하였다. 프로그램의 효과를 검증하기 위하여 `사회적 기술평정 척도(Social Skills Rating System: SSRS)`의 사전·사후 점수를 비교하였다. 또한 행동관찰표를 이용하여 매회기별 행동빈도 변화를 단일대상연구 방법으로 측정하여 그래프로 제시하고, 더불어 연구자의 기록을 종합하여 사회적 기술의 질적 변화내용을 기술하였다. 연구 결과 반려견을 활용한 동물매개중재를 통해 지적장애 성인의 사회적 기술 점수가 향상되었고, 사회적 기술 행동의 빈도가 증가하였다. 본 연구는 동물매개중재가 지적장애 성인의 사회적 기술 향상을 위한 효과적인 중재 방안의 하나로 적용될 수 있음을 보여주는 데 그 의의가 있다.
The present study aimed to examine effects of Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) with companion dogs on social skills development of adults with intellectual disabilities. To do this, the researcher selected three adults with intellectual disabilities institutionalized in a social welfare organization and completed the experiment throughout the 21 sessions, once a week. Each study participant was accompanied by one companion dog, one animal handler, and two observers. To test the effectiveness of the program, participants` pre-and post-treatment scores measured by the Social Skills Rating System (SSRS) were compared, and during each session, the participants` behavior frequency was measured through the behavior observation record. The results were exhibited on the graph of multiple-baseline across subjects, and the behavior observations of social skills change were provided by integrating the researcher`s reports. The study results showed that AAT with companion dogs had a positive impact on an increase in the scores of social skills as well as on cooperation, assertion, and self-control which were subcategories of social skills, among adults with intellectual disabilities. The scores of SSRS in post-test were higher than in pre-test, and the frequency of socially skilled behaviors, which was operationally defined, was increased in post-test. After the program, the degree was somewhat decreased, and the improvement in terms of quality varied depending on the participants. However, this can be resulted not only from their own life styles established for a long time as an adult but also from the cognitive characteristics of intellectual disabilities. Therefore, this study is meaningful showing the applicability of AAT as one of effective interventions for enhancing the social skill of adults with intellectual disabilities.