Effectiveness of Filial/Play Therapy Training on High School Students' Empathic Behavior with Young Children

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This study was designed to determine the effectiveness of a filial/play therapy training model with high school juniors and seniors enrolled in a Peer Assistance and Leadership program (PALs). Filial/play therapy is an intervention that focuses on strengthening and enhancing adult-child relationships. The high students are trained to be a therapeutic change agent for primary school children identified as having adjustment difficulties by utilizing basic child-centered play therapy skills in weekly play sessions with young children. Specifically, this study is designed to determine the effectiveness of filial therapy in increasing: 1) the high school students' observed empathic behavior with young ... continued below

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Jones, Leslie D. May 2001.

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  • Jones, Leslie D.

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Description

This study was designed to determine the effectiveness of a filial/play therapy training model with high school juniors and seniors enrolled in a Peer Assistance and Leadership program (PALs). Filial/play therapy is an intervention that focuses on strengthening and enhancing adult-child relationships. The high students are trained to be a therapeutic change agent for primary school children identified as having adjustment difficulties by utilizing basic child-centered play therapy skills in weekly play sessions with young children. Specifically, this study is designed to determine the effectiveness of filial therapy in increasing: 1) the high school students' observed empathic behavior with young children, 2) the high school students' observed attitude of acceptance toward young children, 3) the high school students' observed ability to allow self-direction in young children, and 4) the high school students' observed level of involvement with young children. The experimental group, consisting of 16 volunteer high school students enrolled in a PALs class for high school credit, received a total of 24 weeks of filial/play therapy didactic training, application, and supervision for the playtimes they conducted with pre-kindergarten/kindergarten students identified with adjustment difficulties. The comparison group consisted of 15 volunteer high school students enrolled in a PALs class for high school credit. The comparison group received the standard PALs class curriculum. All students were videotaped playing with a young child 4 to 6 years of age before and after the training as a means of measuring empathic behavior with young children. An Analysis of Covariance revealed statistically significant findings in all four hypotheses. Specifically, the experimental group of high school students exhibited statistically significant increases in empathic interactions with young children when compared to the comparison group. The experimental group also exhibited statistically significant increases in communication of acceptance of young children's feelings and behaviors, acceptance and behavioral willingness to follow young children's lead rather than attempt to control their behavior, and attention to and participation in young children's play. This study supports the use of filial/play therapy as an effective training model for increasing high school students' empathic behavior with young children. Filial/play therapy offers significant possibilities for training high school students in a developmentally appropriate model for working with young children identified with school adjustment difficulties, in order to prevent future problems.

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  • May 2001

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  • Sept. 25, 2007, 9:33 p.m.

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  • May 29, 2015, 6:19 p.m.

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Jones, Leslie D. Effectiveness of Filial/Play Therapy Training on High School Students' Empathic Behavior with Young Children, dissertation, May 2001; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2754/: accessed April 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .