Virtual Human-Animal Interactions : Supporting Learning, Social Connections and Well-being book cover
1st Edition

Virtual Human-Animal Interactions
Supporting Learning, Social Connections and Well-being

  • Available for pre-order on June 23, 2023. Item will ship after July 14, 2023
ISBN 9781032356419
July 14, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
176 Pages 40 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Interest in the field of human-animal interactions is burgeoning and researchers and educators are keen to understand the science undergirding research that helps us understand interactions between people and animals. Recently, exciting and innovative research is focusing on how people’s virtual interactions with animals can enhance their learning, social interactions, and well-being. This research aims to answer questions such as "What types of interactions do people have with animals in a virtual context? How do people access and experience their virtual interactions with animals? Do virtual interactions with animals hold potential to enhance people’s well-being and learning in the same way that in-person interactions with animals have been documented? What educational strategies could be employed to enhance people’s virtual interactions with animals? How can we respect animals as research participants within a virtual context?" Drawing from seminal and cutting-edge research in the field of human-animal interactions, these questions and others are answered in Virtual Human-Animal Interactions. Research-informed and grounded in critical discussions of theory and practice, readers will be challenged to reconceptualize their understanding of research and practice exploring the complexities inherent in, and arising from, people’s virtual interactions with animals. Further, with an eye to the future, this book illuminates readers’ thinking around the empirical and practical implications of facilitating interactions between people and animals within virtual contexts. Researchers and educators from across disciplines will find Virtual Human-Animal Interactions both scientifically savvy and practical.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2: From In-Person to Virtual Human-Animal Interactions: An Overview Chapter 3: Exploring Asynchronous and Synchronous Opportunities for Virtual Human-Animal Interactions Chapter 4: The Unique Role of Social Media in Fostering Informal Virtual Human-Animal Connections Chapter 5: Safeguarding Animal Welfare in a Virtual Context  Chapter 6: Best Practices in Creating Virtual Human-Animal Connections Chapter 7: Conclusion and Future Directions

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Christine Yvette Tardif-Williams, PhD,?is an Associate Professor in the Department of Child and Youth Studies at Brock University and has taught in the post-secondary context for 20 years. Dr. Tardif-Williams’ research adopts basic and applied approaches and is informed by the interdisciplinary fields of child and youth development and human-animal interactions. Dr. Tardif-Williams’ has two research streams that focus more broadly on how close bonds within interpersonal and animal relationships shape the social and emotional lives of children and youth. Specifically, Dr. Tardif-Williams’ research examines human-animal interactions, children’s relationships with animals, child maltreatment, parent-child attachment, and communication and conflict. Dr. Tardif-Williams’ research on children’s and dog handlers’ experiences with animals and therapy dogs in a variety of learning contexts has been published in?Anthrozo?s,?Society and Animals, the Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin,?Pet Behavior Science?and?Psychology of Language and Communication.?

John-Tyler Binfet, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan campus. His research explores prosocial behavior in children and adolescents and the effects of canine-assisted interventions on college student well-being. Dr. Binfet is the author of two previous books including the recently published “Cultivating Kindness: An Educator’s Guide” (2022; University of Toronto Press) and a co-author of “Canine-Assisted Interventions: A Comprehensive Guide to Credentialing Therapy Dog Teams” (Binfet & Hartwig, 2020; Routledge). His research on the effects of canine-assisted interventions has been published in Anthrozo?s, the Journal of Mental Health, and the Journal of Veterinary Behavior among elsewhere. Dr. Binfet is the founder and director of UBC’s Building Academic Retention through K9s (B.A.R.K.) program that was established in 2012 and routinely sees 60+ therapy dogs and their handlers participate in on-campus and community programming.