Evaluering en verfyning van 'n perde–geassisteerde terapie program gerig op die psigologiese welstand van seuns in 'n nywerheidskool
South African adolescents are more likely to participate in high-risk behaviours, because they are exposed to high-risk environments that have a negative impact on them. The choices that adolescents make during this explorative life stage will influence and determine certain outcomes of their adult lives. Therefore, it is crucial to improve adolescents’ psychological well-being, as they are the future generation adults. Adolescents with behaviour problems form a unique population who do not respond effectively to traditional therapy, and researchers are continuously searching for more effective ways to reach this population. Equine-assisted therapy (EAT) is an intervention that has been proven to be effective with this population and to provide better outcomes than traditional psychotherapy. Although the value and positive effects of EAT has been proven, there is a gap in the literature concerning research on this topic, especially with regard to research conducted by means of quantitative methods. The overarching goal of this study was to evaluate and refine an EAT programme aimed at improving the psychological well-being of boys in a school of industry. This goal was attained by utilising a quantitative, experimental research design. The Solomon four-group design was applied, because it effectively controls pre-test sensitisation and provides the best control against threats to internal validity. The sample was selected from a school of industry near Bloemfontein, which provides residence to a group of adolescent boys who display behaviour problems. The 40 boys (N = 40) included in the sample were divided into two experimental groups of 10 boys each and two control groups of 10 boys each. During the course of the study, one of the boys withdrew and the sample was reduced to 39 boys. The programme was administered to the boys in the experimental groups. Before the programme commenced, one of the experimental groups and one of the control groups completed the pre-test. The psychometric instruments used were a biographical questionnaire, the Satisfaction with Life Scale and the Coping Orientations to the Problems Experienced Questionnaire. The boys then completed the EAT programme which consisted of eight sessions, each with its own outcomes and designed to improve subjective well-being and coping. After completion of the programme, all four groups completed the post-test consisting of the same psychometric instruments as the pre-test. The results showed that the programme significantly improved the boys’ subjective well-being. The boys’ problem-focused coping, emotion-focused coping and dysfunctional coping were also increased significantly. These improvements can be attributed directly to the programme, because pre-test sensitisation was controlled. The study found that the EAT programme had a significant positive effect on the boys’ subjective well-being and coping. The conclusion can be drawn that the programme significantly improved the boys’ psychological well-being. The programme was evaluated and refined, and recommendations were made for its future use.
- Humanities