An Investigation of the Efficacy of Play Therapy with Young Children

Description:

This study was designed to determine the effectiveness of play therapy as a method of intervention for children with a variety of emotional and behavioral problems. Specifically, the study was aimed at determining the effectiveness of play therapy in: (a) improving self-concepts of children with adjustment difficulties; (b) reducing internalizing behavior problems, such as withdrawal, somatic complaints, anxiety, and depression; (c) reducing externalizing behavioral problems such as aggression and delinquent behaviors; (d) reducing overall behavior problems, social problems, thought problems, and attention problems of children with adjustment difficulties; and (e) reducing parenting stress of parents of children who were experiencing adjustment difficulties.The experimental group consisted of 15 children who were experiencing a variety of adjustment difficulties and received play therapy once per week for 7 to 10 weeks. The control group consisted of 14 children who were experiencing a variety of adjustment difficulties and who were on a waiting list to receive intervention, and therefore, did not receive any treatment during the time of data collection. Experimental and control group children were administered the Joseph Pre-School and Primary Self-Concept Screening Test and parents of all participants completed the Child Behavior Checklist and the Parenting Stress Index at pretest and posttest data collection times. A gain scores analysis revealed that children in the experimental group demonstrated a significant improvement on internalizing behavior problems. Also, a reduction in externalizing behavior problems and parenting stress was observed. No improvement in self-concept was demonstrated. This study provides evidence that play therapy is a viable intervention for treating a variety of emotional and behavioral difficulties in young children, particularly children who are experiencing internalizing behavior problems.

Creator(s): Brandt, Marielle Aloyse
Creation Date: May 1999
Partner(s):
UNT Libraries
Collection(s):
UNT Theses and Dissertations
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Publisher Info:
Publisher Name: University of North Texas
Place of Publication: Denton, Texas
Date(s):
  • Creation: May 1999
  • Digitized: June 5, 2007
Description:

This study was designed to determine the effectiveness of play therapy as a method of intervention for children with a variety of emotional and behavioral problems. Specifically, the study was aimed at determining the effectiveness of play therapy in: (a) improving self-concepts of children with adjustment difficulties; (b) reducing internalizing behavior problems, such as withdrawal, somatic complaints, anxiety, and depression; (c) reducing externalizing behavioral problems such as aggression and delinquent behaviors; (d) reducing overall behavior problems, social problems, thought problems, and attention problems of children with adjustment difficulties; and (e) reducing parenting stress of parents of children who were experiencing adjustment difficulties.The experimental group consisted of 15 children who were experiencing a variety of adjustment difficulties and received play therapy once per week for 7 to 10 weeks. The control group consisted of 14 children who were experiencing a variety of adjustment difficulties and who were on a waiting list to receive intervention, and therefore, did not receive any treatment during the time of data collection. Experimental and control group children were administered the Joseph Pre-School and Primary Self-Concept Screening Test and parents of all participants completed the Child Behavior Checklist and the Parenting Stress Index at pretest and posttest data collection times. A gain scores analysis revealed that children in the experimental group demonstrated a significant improvement on internalizing behavior problems. Also, a reduction in externalizing behavior problems and parenting stress was observed. No improvement in self-concept was demonstrated. This study provides evidence that play therapy is a viable intervention for treating a variety of emotional and behavioral difficulties in young children, particularly children who are experiencing internalizing behavior problems.

Degree:
Level: Doctoral
Language(s):
Subject(s):
Keyword(s): play therapy | emotional problems | behavioral problems
Contributor(s):
Partner:
UNT Libraries
Collection:
UNT Theses and Dissertations
Identifier:
  • OCLC: 44262892 |
  • UNTCAT: b2206733 |
  • ARK: ark:/67531/metadc2184
Resource Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Format: Text
Rights:
Access: Public
License: Copyright
Holder: Brandt, Marielle Aloyse
Statement: Copyright is held by the author, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.