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- Group activity therapy with learning disabled preadolescents exhibiting behavior problems.
- This study was designed to determine the effectiveness of group activity therapy as a school based intervention with fourth and fifth grade preadolescents with learning disabilities experiencing behavior problems. The group activity therapy intervention followed humanistic principles and was designed to address the cognitive and social emotional needs of this population. The preadolescents were provided a variety of developmental appropriate materials and activities to encourage self expression and group interaction. The 24 volunteer preadolescents were randomly assigned to the experimental group (n=12) and to the control group (n=12). The treatment group preadolescents were divided into groups of three and participated in group activity therapy one hour per week for 12 weeks. The participants were assigned to groups according to individual needs and personality traits. The control group received no treatment during the study. Pre and post test data were collected from parents using the Child Behavior Checklist (CBC) and the Behavior Assessment Scale for Children (BASC). Analysis of Covariate (ANCOVA) was utilized to determine statistical significance between the treatment group and the control group on the post-test means for each hypothesis. In each case, the post-test specified in each hypothesis was used as the dependent variable and the pre-test as the covariate. Specifically, the preadolescents in the treatment group showed statistically significant decreases in total behavior problems on the BASC (p=.05) and decreases in internalizing problems on both the BASC and CBC (p=.03, p=.05, respectively). While not statistically significant, positive trends were noted on the CBC total behavior scale (p=.08) and on the CBC externalizing scale (p=.09). In addition, Cohen's d effect size was calculated for each hypothesis and post hoc analysis of the subscales to determine practical significance of the treatment on the experimental group when compared to the control group. A large treatment effect size was found on the BASC (d=.91) and CBC (d=.82) total behavior problems scales and on the BASC (d=1.03) and CBC (d=.90) internalizing problems scales. A moderate to large treatment effect size (d=.78) was found on the CBC externalizing problems scale and a medium treatment effect size (d=.53) was found on the BASC externalizing problems scale. Qualitative data was also examined to determine clinical significance of the intervention. This study determined that group activity therapy is an effective intervention for preadolescents diagnosed with a learning disability.
- Filial Therapy with Teachers of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Preschool Children
- The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of Filial Therapy training in increasing teachers of deaf and hard of hearing preschool students': 1) empathic responsiveness with their students; 2) communication of acceptance to their students; 3) allowance of self-direction by their students. A second purpose was to determine the effectiveness of Filial Therapy training in reducing experimental group students': 1) overall behavior problems; 2) internalizing behaviors; and 3) externalizing behavior problems. Filial Therapy is a didactic/dynamic modality used by play therapists to train parents and teachers to be therapeutic agents with their children and students. Teachers are taught primary child-centered play therapy skills for use with their own students in weekly play sessions with their students. Teachers learn to create a special environment that enhances and strengthens the teacher-student emotional bond by means of which both teacher and child are assisted in personal growth and change. The experimental group (N=24) consisted of 12 teachers, who participated in 11 weekly Filial Therapy training sessions (22 total instructional hours) during the fall semester at the preschool of a center for communications disorders, and 12 students chosen by the teachers as their student of focus. Teachers and students met once a week during the training for 30 minute teacher student play sessions in a room specified for this purpose. The non-treatment comparison group received no training during the 11 weeks. Teacher participants completed two written instruments: the Child Behavior Checklist/Caregiver-Teacher Report Form and the Meadow-Kendall Social-Emotional Assessment Inventory for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Students. Teachers who received Filial Therapy training were videotaped during student teacher play sessions. The videotaped sessions were used for pretest and posttest evaluation for the Measurement of Empathy in Adult-Child Interaction. Analysis of covariance revealed the children in the experimental group significantly decreased overall behavior problems. Teachers in the experimental group increased communication of empathy with their students of focus, significantly increased their attitude of acceptance with their students, and significantly increased in their ability to allow the students appropriate self-direction. This study supports Filial Therapy as an effective method of training teachers of deaf and hard of hearing preschool children to be therapeutic agents of change with their students.