Encouraging nurturing traits through the interaction of animals and at-risk youth can help reduce antisocial behavior. A 4-H animal-care program was initiated at The Wyoming Girls School as part of the rehabilitation process for the School's residents. Self-assessments by the young women indicated that the animals served a therapeutic role. Supervised interaction between at-risk youth and animals can provide an avenue to enhance self-esteem and build positive coping behaviors.
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Weigel, R. R., Caiola, B., & Pittman-Foy, L. (2002). 4-H Animal Care as Therapy for At-Risk Youth. The Journal of Extension, 40(5), Article 20. https://tigerprints.clemson.edu/joe/vol40/iss5/20