Repository logo

A theory-driven logic model of equine-assisted psychotherapy for at-risk youth




Kelly, Erin, author
Wood, Wendy, advisor
Schmid, Arlene A., committee member
Stallones, Lorann, committee member

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Mental health issues among adolescent and young adult populations are highly prevalent. Mental illness can impact long term success and puts individuals at risk of negative quality of life outcomes. Equine-assisted psychotherapy interventions for at-risk youth are intended to support the development of important life skills and mitigate the risk factors one may be facing. The purpose of this study was to assess an equine-assisted psychotherapy program for at risk youth, the Equine Assisted Life Skills Training (EALST) program, using the structure of a theory-driven logic model. Using a qualitative description approach, I developed a theory-driven logic model to understand the underlying aspects of the EALST program. The aspects included the theoretical assumptions, resources, activities, outputs, outcomes, and impact of the program. I conducted semi-structured interviews with eight program stakeholders, with the questions aimed at explicating stakeholder's conceptualizations of each of these logic model categories. The results of the analysis of these interviews were mapped into a logic model format. This particular type of logic model focused on elucidating the theoretical assumptions of the program stakeholders in order to develop existing program theory. These theoretical assumptions, along with the other aspects of the logic model, will support the program providers in further developing their working theories and more effectively implementing the program. Next steps include identifying measures of hypothesized outcomes in order to test and further refine the identified program theory.


Rights Access


equine-assisted psychotherapy
equine-assisted services
at-risk youth


Associated Publications