Published Articles

Publication: Journal of Youth Development

Human-Animal-Environment Interactions as a Context for Child and Adolescent Growth

This study is the first in a series of qualitative studies as part of the joint research project between Green Chimneys and the University of Denver Institute for Human-Animal Connection (IHAC). It is focused on describing the essence and nature of special education teachers’ lived experiences in incorporating nature-based interventions as a tool to improve youth social-emotional learning outcomes and promote positive youth development.
Read more


Publication: Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice

Human-animal-environment interactions as a context for youth social-emotional health and wellbeing: Practitioners’ perspectives on processes of change, implementation, and challenges

Building on the approach to capture first-hand perspectives of staff working directly with youth, a second qualitative study with IHAC focuses on the experiences of Green Chimneys’ nature-based program staff. This study asked farm staff to describe how they’ve seen youth be impacted by nature-based programs, particularly in shaping outcomes related to their development and wellbeing. Staff shared that youth interactions with plants, animals, and nature improved mood, strengthened relations, self-regulation,  and self-conception.


Publication: Journal of Child and Adolescent Social Work

Animal-Assisted Interventions as an Adjunct to Therapy for Youth: Clinician Perspectives

In this third study with IHAC, data collection focused specifically on animal-assisted interventions as clinicians were asked to share their perspective on how animal-assisted therapy impacts youth. The majority of clinical staff observed that animal-assisted therapy provided youth opportunities for contribution, increased sense of safety, supported self-regulation, increased engagement in therapy, and facilitated youth relationships with others.


Publication: Anthrozoös

Animal-assisted Social Skills Training for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

In May 2017, Green Chimneys published a study exploring the effectiveness of an animal-assisted social skills intervention for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Findings demonstrate that incorporating therapy dogs in social skills training is a valid approach to teaching children with ASD to engage with peers and improve social interaction.
Read more