Child-Centered Group Play Therapy with Children Experiencing Adjustment Difficulties

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This research study investigated the effectiveness of child-centered group play therapy with children experiencing adjustment difficulties. Specifically, this study determined the effectiveness of child-centered group play therapy in: (a) improving self-concept, (b) reducing externalizing, internalizing, and overall behavior problems, (c) enhancing emotional and behavioral adjustment to the school environment, and (d) increasing self-control of kindergarten children experiencing adjustment difficulties. Also investigated were child-centered group play therapy effects on reducing parenting stress of the parents of kindergarten children experiencing adjustment difficulties. The experimental group consisted of 15 kindergarten children who received one 40-minute child-centered group play therapy session per week, for ... continued below

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McGuire, Donald E. August 2000.

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  • McGuire, Donald E.

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Description

This research study investigated the effectiveness of child-centered group play therapy with children experiencing adjustment difficulties. Specifically, this study determined the effectiveness of child-centered group play therapy in: (a) improving self-concept, (b) reducing externalizing, internalizing, and overall behavior problems, (c) enhancing emotional and behavioral adjustment to the school environment, and (d) increasing self-control of kindergarten children experiencing adjustment difficulties. Also investigated were child-centered group play therapy effects on reducing parenting stress of the parents of kindergarten children experiencing adjustment difficulties. The experimental group consisted of 15 kindergarten children who received one 40-minute child-centered group play therapy session per week, for twelve weeks. Group facilitators were play therapists who were doctoral students at the University of North Texas. The control group consisted of the 14 kindergarten students that had been assigned to the control group in Baggerly's (1999) study. Before the group play therapy sessions began and after termination of the sessions: the researchers administered the Joseph Pre-School and Primary Self-Concept Screening Test; parents completed the Child Behavior Checklist-Parent Report, Self-Control Rating Scale, Filial Problem Checklist, and Parenting Stress Index; and teachers completed the Child Behavior Checklist-Teacher Report, Early Childhood Behavior Scale, and Self-Control Rating Scale. Although the general results of this study did not show statistically significant change due to child-centered group play therapy sessions, positive trends in the children's behavior, self-control, and self-concept were observed by the researcher, play therapists, and teachers. These trends and observations support the continued application of child-centered group play therapy with children experiencing adjustment difficulties. Several factors may have contributed to the lack of statistical significance demonstrated within this study. These factors include a) a small sample size; b) the sample was drawn from only one school; c) a minimum of interactions between therapists and teachers, and therapists and parents; d) two unforeseen and unfortunate events; and e) pre-existing strength and resilience of the children comprising the control group.

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  • August 2000

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 25, 2007, 9:03 p.m.

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  • April 26, 2016, 4:35 p.m.

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McGuire, Donald E. Child-Centered Group Play Therapy with Children Experiencing Adjustment Difficulties, dissertation, August 2000; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2622/: accessed April 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .