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The aim of the study was to determine if the Eagala model, an equine-assisted intervention, would enhance the psychological wellbeing of adolescents living in a township in South Africa. An embedded mixed-methods research design with convenience sampling was used. Participants were randomly assigned to an experimental or control group. The experimental group participated in the Eagala intervention. The Ryff Scale of Psychological Wellbeing (RSPWB) was used to collect quantitative data while letters to the horses were used as qualitative data. Independent t-tests indicated significant differences between the two groups on the overall score of the RSPWB and five of its dimensions. Using thematic analysis, qualitative themes that enhanced understanding of the quantitative findings were identified. The results confirmed the effectiveness of the Eagala intervention. A Kruskal-Wallis test, however, indicated that between four to eight sessions need to be attended in order for the intervention to be effective.

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In: Society & Animals