Effects of Child-Centered Play Therapy and Curriculum-Based Small-Group Guidance on the Behaviors of Children Referred for Aggression in an Elementary School Setting

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The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of child-centered play therapy and curriculum-based small-group guidance on the behaviors of aggressive children in an elementary school as determined by (a) the reduction of aggressive behaviors, (b) the decrease in internalizing problems, and (c) the decrease in externalizing problems of aggressive children. Two types of behavioral instruments, the Behavioral Assessment System for Children-Teacher Rating Scale/Parent Rating Scale and the Child Behavior Checklist-Caregiver/Teacher Report Form, were used to provide multiple measures of the same construct in this matched pretest-posttest comparison group experimental designed study. Qualitative data was also collected. The ... continued below

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Schumann, Brandy R. December 2004.

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  • Schumann, Brandy, R.

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Description

The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of child-centered play therapy and curriculum-based small-group guidance on the behaviors of aggressive children in an elementary school as determined by (a) the reduction of aggressive behaviors, (b) the decrease in internalizing problems, and (c) the decrease in externalizing problems of aggressive children. Two types of behavioral instruments, the Behavioral Assessment System for Children-Teacher Rating Scale/Parent Rating Scale and the Child Behavior Checklist-Caregiver/Teacher Report Form, were used to provide multiple measures of the same construct in this matched pretest-posttest comparison group experimental designed study. Qualitative data was also collected. The population studied was comprised of 37 volunteer children identified as aggressive in kindergarten through fourth grade, ages 5-12, who qualified for counseling services at a Title I public elementary school in North Texas . Children who were referred by teachers and parents, and met the required criteria, were matched in pairs on grade level and randomly assigned to one of the two real-world setting interventions; play therapy treatment group (n=20), which received 12-15 individual child-centered play therapy sessions, or the curriculum-based small-group guidance group (n=17), consisting of 12-19 lessons. Major strengths of the study included utilizing students referred for counseling due to behavioral difficulties (students demonstrating at-risk and clinically significant aggressive behaviors) and servicing them at school, a real-world setting. Another strength was the use of 30-minute play therapy and guidance sessions, which conform to typical school practice. Twelve hypotheses were tested using two-factor mixed repeated measures and eta squared. The data of this study tentatively support the effectiveness of both modalities in decreasing the aggressive behaviors, internalizing problems, and externalizing problems of aggressive children. The data seems to indicate that school-based child-centered play therapy is as effective at improving the behaviors of aggressive children as a nationally recognized guidance curriculum program. Qualitative data from the parents and teachers of the children demonstrated clinical significance, suggesting that school-based child-centered play therapy is more noticeably effective in reducing the aggressive behaviors of children. A control group is needed to determine conclusive results and discern possible effects of maturation.

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  • December 2004

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  • Feb. 15, 2008, 3:42 p.m.

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  • June 24, 2008, 2:18 p.m.

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Schumann, Brandy R. Effects of Child-Centered Play Therapy and Curriculum-Based Small-Group Guidance on the Behaviors of Children Referred for Aggression in an Elementary School Setting, dissertation, December 2004; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4684/: accessed August 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .