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Effects and Mediation of Child-centered Play Therapy on Young Children Who Are Anxious

Description: Anxiety is one of the most pervasive childhood disorders, with a poor prognosis if left untreated. Traditional methods of treating anxiety have been less effective with young children. Based on theoretical assumptions regarding the potential effectiveness of child-centered play therapy (CCPT) as a treatment approach, I sought to explore the effects and mediating factors of CCPT on young children with symptoms of anxiety. Fifty-three participants between the ages of 6 to 8 years old were recruited from four elementary schools, including 36 males and 17 females. Of participants, 11 were African American, 24 were Caucasian, 10 were Hispanic/Latino, one was Asian, and seven were biracial. Twenty-five participants were randomly assigned to an experimental group receiving a mean of 15 sessions of individual CCPT, and 28 participants were assigned to an 8-session active control group. Five factorial analyses of variance (ANOVA) were conducted applying an alpha level of .05 for interpretation of statistical significance and Cohen’s d to assess practical significance. ANOVA results indicated a statistically significant interaction with a large effect size on Total Anxiety score of the Revised Children’s Manifest Anxiety Scale-2nd edition (p = .013, d = .715). Subscale ANOVA results indicated a statistically significant interaction effect with large effect size on the Worry subscale (p = .006, d = .795), no statistically significant interaction on the Defensiveness subscale (p = .710, d = .110), no statistically significant interaction but moderate effect size on the Physiological subscale (p = .076, d = .506), and no statistically significant interaction but moderate effect size on the Social Anxiety subscale (p = .162, d = .398). Statistically significant differences with large practical effects were found in total anxiety and worry, suggesting that children who received CCPT decreased their overall levels of anxiety and worry whereas children who were in the active ...
Date: May 2014
Creator: Stulmaker, Hayley L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effects of a Trained Therapy Dog in Child-Centered Play Therapy on Children's Biobehavioral Measures of Anxiety

Description: This study was concerned with reducing children's anticipatory anxiety when entering mental health services for the first time. The purpose of this study was to determine whether combining two effective modalities, play therapy and animal-assisted therapy, would be effective in decreasing children's biobehavioral measurements of anxiety. Specifically, this study examined the effects of the presence of a trained therapy dog during one individual 30-minute play therapy session. The experimental group consisted of 26 children who received one individual 30-minute play therapy session with the presence of a trained therapy dog. The comparison group consisted of 25 children who received one individual 30-minute play therapy session without the presence of a trained therapy dog. The SenseWear® PRO 2 armband monitor measured children's biobehavioral measurements such as galvanic skin response, temperature, and activity level (BodyMedia, Inc., Pittsburgh , PA , www.bodymedia.com). The Tanita 6102 Cardio® digital heart rate monitor measured children's pre-treatment and post-treatment heart rates (Tanita Corporation of America, Inc., Arlington Heights , IL , www.tanita.com). Five hypotheses were tested using repeated measures ANOVA with mixed factors and eta squared. All five hypotheses in this study were retained based on statistical significance at the .05 level. The combination of child-centered play therapy (CCPT) and animal-assisted therapy was shown to have little practical significance in decreasing children's first 5-minute biobehavioral measurements, middle 5-minute biobehavioral measurements, last 5-minute biobehavioral measurements as measured by the SenseWear Pro 2 armband monitor. The combination of CCPT and animal-assisted therapy was shown to have little practical significance in decreasing children's pre-treatment and post-treatment heart rate. The results of the two factor repeated measures analysis of variance with mixed factors were not statistically significant. Although, research has shown that play therapy is an effective modality in reducing children's anxiety over time, children's anticipatory anxiety was increased in the ...
Date: May 2005
Creator: Athy, Annette L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Symptoms of anxiety and depression in children and adolescents: The impact of residential fire.

Description: This study examined symptoms of anxiety and depression in 99 children and adolescents following a residential fire. Children and their parents completed self-administered questionnaires regarding the fire and their current functioning. The most commonly experienced symptoms were worry/ oversensitivity, anhedonia, negative mood, and fear of failure and criticism. There were no significant ethnic differences across symptomology. Exposure was directly related to parental report of child internalizing behaviors, whereas loss was unrelated to symptoms. Level of support (general and fire related) and active coping were directly associated with positive child adjustment. The impact of negative life events was related to poorer functioning. Overall, a child's environment and coping strategy appear to be the best predictors of adjustment following a residential fire.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Conde, Joann M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Affective Reactions and Psychosocial Functioning in the Course of Psycho-Educational Assessment

Description: Every day, children throughout the United States are given psychological evaluations for many different clinical and psycho-educational purposes. Very little research has attempted to investigate children's responses to the experience of having intellectual and achievement tests administered. The goal of the current research was to explore the effect a psycho-educational evaluation has on children in areas of self-concept and anxiety. Dependent variables consisted of pre- and post-test measures of anxiety and self-concept. A total of 75 children in the 4th 5th and 6th grades were recruited after referral for evaluation and possible placement in the Talented and Gifted Program or Special Education. This study employed Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), t-tests, multiple regression analysis, and correlational analysis. Findings included initial evidence that children endorsed decreased anxiety after psycho-educational assessments rather than increased anxiety, suggesting that fear of unknown situations may be more anxiety provoking than the actual situation itself, potentially beneficial findings for psychology and psychometric professionals who evaluate children daily. Students endorsement of academic self-concept significantly predicted anxiety after a psycho-educational evaluation, indicating that students who feel capable in academic areas may endorse less anxiety after an evaluation than students who do not feel academically capable. Finally, negative verbal interaction with parents significantly predicted lower general self-concept scores, providing evidence that the manner in which parents verbally relate to their children may have significant impact for the mental health of children.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Buenrostro, Martha
Partner: UNT Libraries