Drama Therapy for Children Children's Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

However, behavioral skills training that incorporated active learning approaches, such as role playing, were found to result in children that were significantly more likely to demonstrate the proper safety skills in role playing and in situ assessments than children who did not receive this behavior skills training. Furthermore, in situ, role playing training was found to enhance the safety skill development of both the educational and behavior skills training groups (Gatheridge et al., 2004).

Another context where role playing has been effectively used in interventions with children is bullying prevention programs. Salmivalli (1999) suggested that bullying could be considered essentially a group phenomenon, where children who are members of a class take on various roles in bullying participation. Some of these roles may include assistants to the bully, reinforcers to the bully, or outside bystanders. Salmivalli (1999) described this phenomenon as a form of "peer group power (p.453)" where peer participant roles play a huge part in maintaining bully behavior. This researcher suggested that this same powerful peer influence must be used to cease bullying behavior as well, through interventions that target the whole, entire peer group using encouragement and training involving role-playing exercises. The aim is that this training would result in children naturally shifting their roles in their spontaneous informal interactions in order to put an end to bullying behavior (Salmivalli, 1999).

Role playing and drama therapy has also been shown to be effective in facilitating the development of social skills among very young children. Gronna, Serna, Kennedy, and Prater (1999) utilized puppet script training to teach preschool children with visual impairments the social skills of greeting, responding to conversations and the initiation of conversations. In particular, the utilization of puppets enacting sociodramatic scripts in group training sessions taught social skills to these children. Immediately following the training sessions, the children participated in free-play among children without disabilities in order for skill generalization to be assessed. Results of the study indicated that the dramatic intervention increased social skill performance with peers. Moreover, the target behaviors were learned from the puppet dramatization and were generalized into free-play with peers (Gronna et al., 1999).

Overall, research has established that interventions involving the use of dramatic, role playing exercises with children have proven beneficial. Clinicians may choose to implement these types of interventions instead of other more straight forward educational initiatives due to their proven effectiveness.

References

Johnson, B.M., Miltenberger, R.G., Knudson, P., Egemo-Helm, K., Kelso, P., Jostad, C., Langley, L. (2006). A preliminary evaluation of two behavioral skills training procedures for teaching abduction-prevention skills to schoolchildren. Journal of Applied Behavioral Analysis, 39(1), 25-34.

Gatheridge, B.J., Miltenberger, R.G., Huneke, D.F., Satterlund, M.J., Mattern, a.R., Johnson, B.M., Flessner, C.A. (2004). Comparison of two programs to teach firearm injury prevention skills to 6- and 7-year-old children. Pediatrics, 114(3), e294-e299.

Salmivalli, C. (1999). Participant role approach to school bullying: implications for interventions. Journal of Adolescence, 22(4), 453-9.

Gronna, S.S., Serna, L.A., Kennedy, C.H., Prater, M.A. (1999). Promoting generalized social interactions using puppets and script training in an integrated preschool. A single-case…

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References

Johnson, B.M., Miltenberger, R.G., Knudson, P., Egemo-Helm, K., Kelso, P., Jostad, C., Langley, L. (2006). A preliminary evaluation of two behavioral skills training procedures for teaching abduction-prevention skills to schoolchildren. Journal of Applied Behavioral Analysis, 39(1), 25-34.

Gatheridge, B.J., Miltenberger, R.G., Huneke, D.F., Satterlund, M.J., Mattern, a.R., Johnson, B.M., Flessner, C.A. (2004). Comparison of two programs to teach firearm injury prevention skills to 6- and 7-year-old children. Pediatrics, 114(3), e294-e299.

Salmivalli, C. (1999). Participant role approach to school bullying: implications for interventions. Journal of Adolescence, 22(4), 453-9.

Gronna, S.S., Serna, L.A., Kennedy, C.H., Prater, M.A. (1999). Promoting generalized social interactions using puppets and script training in an integrated preschool. A single-case study using multiple baseline design. Behavior Modification, 23(3), 419-40.

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