Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Leschied, Alan


This study evaluates the use of a courthouse facility dog program as a testimonial aid for children and youth testifying in court to help reduce secondary trauma. Court officials’ perceptions of the use of a courthouse facility dog program were assessed through a structured interview and a short self-report measure. A total of seven court officials participated in the study. Results indicate that court officials perceive the use of a courthouse facility dog to be beneficial for children and youth who are experiencing challenges testifying in court. In addition, results show that some respondents perceived a degree of bias against the accused related to the use of testimonial aids. Courthouse facility dogs were also perceived to be potentially as beneficial as other testimonial aids provided to children and youth participating in the criminal justice system. Implications and suggested future research are discussed.