Work or Play: An Exploration of the Relationships between People and their Service Dogs in Leisure Activities
This study explored the relationships between adults with disabilities and service dogs through leisure participation. The relationships between service dog and owner and perceptions of and access to leisure were explored via semi-structured interviews. Emergent themes included feelings of interdependence and a lifelong emotional connection. Themes related to perceptions of and access to leisure included service dog orientation and the influence of lifestyle. Owners felt that having a service dog was a positive influence on leisure activities. The emotional connection between owner and service dog was multidimensional, inclusive of trust, maintaining independence, increased socialization, and creating a need to participate in leisure experiences. The cognitive hierarchy model, and experiential learning and transformational learning theories were applied.
Recreation, Parks, and Leisure Services
Journal of Leisure Research
Hicks, J. R., & Weisman, C. J. (2017). Work or play?: An exploration of the relationships between people and their service dogs in leisure activities. Journal of Leisure Research, 47(2), 243-262. https://doi.org/10.1080/00222216.2015.11950359
Link to Publisher Version (DOI)
Publisher's Copyright and Source
Copyright © 2015 National Recreation and Park Association.