In the class Research Methods in Healthcare, we explored an introduction to the different kinds of research that are commonly used in healthcare and the benefits and uses of each kind. Always having a love for dogs, I wondered whether or not they would have any association with the level of productivity of a college student in terms of academic performance, perceived stress, and participation in extra-curricular activities. Using methods and techniques in class, I conducted a literature review to find that dogs have been know to have an association with a sense of connection and support to humans, which has always been associated with reduced levels of perceived stress, especially in college students who are experiencing significant amounts. There is a lack of existing longitudinal research on this topic, in particular when observing college students, and therefore I sought to find out, if followed over time, if owning a dog would make a difference for these students. Because of time and logistical constraints of conducting the study over the course of a single semester, I compiled data from comparable studies to answer my research question of do college students who own domestic dogs as pets experience higher levels of academic productivity?
This is the second place winner in the 2017 competition.