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SEARCH for Research


UMKC students present projects ranging from dogs and reading to natural pigments

James Brown was featured at the SEARCH Symposium, where University of Missouri-Kansas City undergraduate students present their research.

James Brown the Dalmatian, that is. This James Brown is a Reading Education Assistance Dog, part of the READ program that battles child illiteracy. Beth Ann Marten, a UMKC Communication Studies student, discussed her findings on whether dogs can encourage a higher level of reading comprehension. It appears to be the case.

For her research, Marten used Albert Bandura’s Theory of Self-Efficacy — the self-judgment of a person’s capability to perform a specific task — as the framework. Marten analyzed journals from students who had READ sessions with dogs, including James Brown. A high number mastered the subject of what they read.

“It was so exciting to lead groundbreaking research,” Marten said. “Those who work with READ knew anecdotally that dog interaction helps children read, but not quantitatively. I want to continue to research correlations and associations, to help the READ program and children.”

Helping the community is one of the many benefits of SEARCH, Students Engaged in Artistic and Academic Research, the largest undergraduate research event at UMKC.


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About this Story

Campus: UMKC
Key words: KC Campus, UM System,
County: Jackson