Schwebel_evaluation_BD

Schwebel, D.C., Morrongiello, B.A., Davis, A.L., Stewart, J. & Bell, M. The Blue Dog: evaluation of an interactive software program to teach young children how to interact safely with dogs.

The authors also evaluated The Blue Dog, in a pre-post-randomized design. They tested 76 children aged 3.5-6 years on 3 different tasks to evaluate dog safety pre- and post intervention: (a) pictures (recognition of safe/risky behavior), (b) dollhouse (recall of safe behavior via simulated dollhouse scenarios), and (c) live dog (actual behavior with unfamiliar live dog). Following preintervention evaluation, children were randomly assigned to dog or fire safety conditions, each involving 3 weeks of home computer software use.

They found that children using Blue Dog had greater change in recognition of risky dog situations than children learning fire safety. No between-group differences emerged in recall (dollhouse) or engagement (live-dog) in risky behavior. Families enjoyed using the software.

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