Child Centered Play Therapy (CCPT) with Latina/o Children Exhibiting School Behavior Problems: Comparative Effects of Delivery by Spanish-Speaking and English-Speaking Counselors
Description: The shortage of bilingual counselors is one barrier to young Latina/o children receiving mental health services. Child-centered play therapy (CCPT) is a developmentally responsive intervention based on the premise that play is children's natural means of communication across cultures. This randomized controlled study examined the effects of CCPT with young Spanish-speaking Latina/o children exhibiting clinical levels of school behavior problems. Participants were 57 pre-K to kindergarten Latina/o children (72% male; mean age = 4.0) randomly assigned to three treatment groups: CCPT with Spanish-speaking, bilingual counselors; CCPT with English-speaking, monolingual counselors; or active control (bilingual mentoring). Monolingual counselors participated in cultural competency training and supervision with bilingual counselors and supervisors. According to independent observers and teachers blinded to children's group assignment, both the bilingual CCPT group and the monolingual CCPT group demonstrated moderate treatment effects over bilingual mentoring, yet between-group differences were not statistically significant. Analysis of within-group change over time indicated that children in both CCPT interventions demonstrated statistically significant improvement, while the mentoring group did not. The percentage of children in each treatment group who improved from clinical to normal behavioral functioning suggests the clinical significance of the findings: 80% bilingual CCPT, 70% monolingual CCPT, 15% bilingual mentoring. Overall, findings indicate that CCPT, whether delivered by bilingual counselors or culturally-competent, monolingual counselors, is a promising intervention for young Latina/o children exhibiting behavior problems.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Barcenas Jaimez, Gustavo