Erin Flynn

Erin Flynn

Research Associate II, Institute for Human-Animal Connection

What I do

The health of individuals, animals, and the environment are shaped by our mutual interrelationship and systems of power, privilege, and oppression. Youth, especially, play a critical role as actors that shape, and are shaped by, the health of other humans, animals and the environment. I partner with community organizations to identify interventions, policies, and practices that promote positive youth development and the collective health of humans, animals, and the environment.

Professional Biography

Erin Flynn, MSW, is a Research Associate at the Institute for Human-Animal Connection at the University of Denver. She holds a certificate in animal-assisted social work and has incorporated animals in her work with youth, adults, and families as a mental health clinician. Erin manages an agenda aimed at measuring the interrelationship of human, animal, and environmental health. She is especially interested in human-animal-environment interactions as a context for positive youth development. Her research includes the health and community impacts of prison dog training programs, efficacy of animal-assisted and nature-based youth development interventions, and the One Health implications of comprehensive humane education.

Degree(s)

MSW, University of Denver, 2017

Certificate, Animal-Assisted Social Work, Institute for Human-Animal Connection, 2017

BA, Ecology and Environmental Science, University of Denver, 2008

Professional Affiliations

Society for Social Work Research (SSWR)

National Association of Social Workers (NASW)

International Society of Anthrozoology

Research

Erin's primary research interest is in the role that human-animal-environment interrelationship plays in shaping human health and development. She is especially interested in youth self-regulation, civic and community engagement, and trauma recovery. Additional areas of interest include humane education, quantitative and qualitative methodologies, participatory action research, intervention research, and social justice.

Projects: Examining human-animal-environment interactions as a context for human health, wellness, and thriving. This includes projects in clinical therapy settings, prison-based animal programs, youth residential and day treatment centers, and humane education.

Featured Publications

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Geldhof, J. G., Flynn, E., Olsen, S. G., Mueller, M. K., Gandenberger, J., Witzel, D. D., Morris, K. N. Emotion regulation and specificity: The impact of animal-assisted interventions on classroom behavior. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology. In press.

Han, T. M., Gandenberger, J., Flynn, E., Sharma, J., and Morris, K. N. (2020). Empowerment theory and prison-based dog training programs: Implications for social work. Journal of Social Work, 0(0), 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1177/1468017320954350

Flynn, E., Gandenberger, J., Mueller, M. K. Morris, K. N. (2020) Animal-assisted interventions as an adjunct to therapy for youth: Clinician perspectives. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 37(2020), 631-642. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10560-020-00695-z

Flynn, E., Denson, E. B., Mueller, M. K., Gandenberger, J., Morris, K. N. (2020). Human-animal-environment interactions as a context for youth social-emotional health and wellbeing: Practitioners’ perspectives on processes of change, implementation, and challenges. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 41(2020), 1-7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctcp.2020.101223

Flynn, E., Massey Combs, K., Gandenberger, J., Tedeschi, P., and Morris, K. N. (2020). Potential psychosocial drivers behind improved in-prison outcomes for inmates participating in dog training programs. The Prison Journal, 100(2), 224-239. doi: 10.1177/0032885519894657

Flynn, E., Zoller, A.G., Mueller, M. K., & Morris, K. N. (2019). Human-Animal-Environment Interactions as a Context for Child and Adolescent Growth. Journal of Youth Development14(4), 144-163. doi:10.5195/jyd.2019.839

Flynn, E., Mueller, M. K., Luft, D., Geldhof, G. J., Klee, S., Tedeschi, P., and Morris, K. N. (2020). Human-animal-environment interactions and self-regulation in youth with psychosocial challenges: Initial assessment of the Green Chimneys model. Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin, 8(2), 53-56. (Pre-publication available at: https://www.apa-hai.org/human-animal-interaction/pre-publication_articles/human-animal-environment-interactions-and-self-regulation-in-youth-with-psychosocial-challenges-initial-assessment-of-the-green-chimneys-model-2/)

Hawes, S. M., Flynn, E., Tedeschi, P. and Morris, K. N. (2019). Humane Cities: Social change through policies promoting collective welfare. Journal of Urban Affairs, 1-13. doi: 10.1080/07352166.2019.1680244

Flynn, E., Roguski, J., Trujillo, K., Tedeschi, P. and Morris, K. N. (2018). The impacts of an animal-assisted therapy as an adjunct to intensive family services among Child Protection Services-involved families: A randomized controlled trial. Child Maltreatment, 24(2), 161-168. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077559518817678.

Link, A., Di Fiore, A., Galvis, N., and Fleming, E. (2012). Patterns of mineral lick visitation by lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris) and paca (Agouti paca) in a Western Amazonian Rainforest in Ecuador. Journal of Neotropical Mammalogy, 19(1), 63-70.

Link, A., Di Fiore, A., Galvis, N., and Fleming, E. (2010). Patterns of mineral lick visitation by spider monkeys and howler monkeys in Amazonia: Are licks perceived as risky areas? American Journal of Primatology, 71, 1-11.

Manuscripts Under Review

Flynn, E., Zoller, A. G., Gandenberger, J., Morris, K. N. Improving engagement in mental health services through animal-assisted interventions: A scoping review. Psychiatric Services. Submitted.

VanBuiten, H., Flynn, E., Morris, K. N. (2020). Dog training as a complimentary intervention to support veteran mental health and well-being: A scoping review. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. Submitted.

OTHER PUBLICATIONS

Morris, K.N., Flynn, E., Jenkins, M., Senecal, J., Gandenberger, J., Hawes, S.M. and Tedeschi, P. (2019). Documentation of nature-based programs at Green Chimneys. Available at: https://www.greenchimneys.org/why-animals-nature/sam-myra-ross-institute/tools- resources-practitioners/recent-studiesfindings/

Han, T. M., Flynn, E., Winchell, J., Gould, E., Gandenberger, J., Barattin, D., Tedeschi, P., and Morris, K. N. (2019). Standard Protocol: Prison-based Dog Training Programs. The Humane Society of the United States Animal Studies Repository. Retrieved from: https://animalstudiesrepository.org/anitobe/2/ (downloaded over 1,745 times)

Zoller, A. G., Flynn, E., and Morris, K.N. (2018). Animal-assisted interventions for improving engagement in mental health services. The Campbell Collaboration title registration.

Morris, K. N., Tedeschi, P., Duncan, K., Flynn, E., Lenth, R., Ungerer, C., Westphal, A., Couchman, A., and Wilton, C. (2015). Canine Healers Trauma Therapy Group at Excelsior Youth Center – Training Manual.

Performances

Presentations

Peer-Reviewed Conference Presentations

Flynn, E. and Gandenberger, J. (January 20-24, 2021). A New Method to Measure Animal-Assisted Interventions as a Context to Promote Youth Emotion Regulation. Society for Social Work and Research: San Francisco, California.

Flynn, E. (November, 12-15, 2020). Human-animal-environment interactions to promote youth self-regulation and development: Practice implications. Council on Social Work Education: Denver, Colorado.

Flynn, E., Han, T., Hawes, S.M., Bexell, S.M. (November, 12-15, 2020). Aren’t there enough (human) problems in the world already: considering the role of animals and the environment in social justice. Council on Social Work Education: Denver, Colorado.

Han, T. and Flynn, E. (November 12-15, 2020). Using prison-based animal programs to address trauma in incarcerated populations. Council on Social Work Education: Denver, Colorado.

Han, T. and Flynn, E. (November 18-21, 2020). Measuring the impact of prison-based dog training programs on rates of recidivism. American Society of Criminology: Washington, D.C. [Cancelled due to COVID]

Flynn, E., Denson, E. B., Zoller, A. G., Siadak, K. S., Gandenberger, J., Mueller, M. K., Morris, K. N. (September 3-5, 2020). Human-animal-environment interactions as a context for positive youth development in clinical populations. Poster accepted at the annual conference of the International Society for Anthrozoology Conference: Web-based.

Flynn, E., Geldhof, G. J., Olsen, S., Mueller, M. K., Gandenberger, J., Morris, K. N. (September 3-5, 2020) Measuring the impacts of animal-assisted interventions on adolescent development: Creating a relative efficacy map. Poster accepted at the annual conference of the International Society for Anthrozoology Conference: Web-based.

Hawes, S., Flynn, E., and Morris, K. N. (August 27-30, 2019). Measuring holistic health in low-income communities: The Pets for Life as One Health study. Paper presented at the Public Health in the Rockies: Keystone, Colorado.

Flynn, E., Mueller, M. K., Luft, D., Klee, S., Tedeschi, P. and Morris, K. N. (April 12-14, 2019). Human-animal-environment interventions and self-regulation: The Green Chimneys model. Paper presented at the 15th Triennial International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations Conference: Brewster, New York.

Flynn., E., Massey Combs, K., Gandenberger, J., Tedeschi, P. and Morris, K. N. (April 12-14, 2019). Measuring the psychosocial impacts of prison dog training programs and in-prison outcomes for inmates. Paper presented at the 15th International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations Conference: Brewster, New York.

Flynn, E., Massey Combs, K., Gandenberger, J., Tedeschi, P. and Morris, K. N. (July 2-5, 2018). Measuring the psychosocial impacts of prison dog training programs and in-prison outcomes for inmates. Paper accepted at the annual conference of the International Society for Anthrozoology Conference: Sydney, Australia.

Flynn, E., Roguski, J., Trujillo, K, Tedeschi, P. & Morris, K. N. (June, 2017). Assessing whether proximal effects of an animal-assisted intervention translate to distal clinical outcomes in a family preservation program – the Savio study. Paper presented at the annual conference of the International Society for Anthrozoology, Davis, California.

Fleming, E., Galvis, N., Loiselle, B., and Nerbonne, J. (2010, August). Collaborate in conservation: A method for volunteer-scientist teams to monitor plant community composition long-term in a private old-growth forest. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Conference of the Ecological Society of America, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.