1 Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (SPAIN)
2 Universidad Politécnica Valencia (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2017 Proceedings
Publication year: 2017
Pages: 6710-6714
ISBN: 978-84-617-8491-2
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2017.1555
Conference name: 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2017
Location: Valencia, Spain
Art therapy is a multidisciplinary profession that combines art, psychotherapy and group therapy. We define as art therapy in the school setting: those interventions and treatments that are performed by professionally registered art therapists, within the physical space of the school, working collaboratively with other professionals in the support team such as tutors, special education specialist or counselors. Some organizations and researchers of art therapy (Bush, 2007; Hautala, 2006; AATA, 1980; Malchiodi, 2010) indicate that art therapy conducted in schools can be beneficial to enhance the capabilities of interaction amongst students, contributing to educational intervention and pedagogical rehabilitation. As a differentiated intervention in the school context, art therapy is also especially beneficial for children when behavior problems are manifested within the school milieu, or other behavioral manifestations such as, aggressive; insecurity or lack of self-confidence exist (Bush, 2007). While art therapy may be provided individual therapy sessions, it has also been developed to work with different types of groups, for which art therapists have adapted group therapy theories to working with art techniques and their expressive possibilities. According to the BASC questionnaire, aggressiveness is a tendency to act in a hostile manner (whether verbally or physically) threatening others. Aggressiveness in children can be a symptom underlying many different conditions: such as conduct disorders, impulsivity, psychosis and others. It may also steam from frustration -as in the case of children who experience academic difficulties- or even from lack of coping strategies to face personal life or relationship based stressors. This work examines the effects on aggressiveness of art therapy groups in a school in Spain, for seven children from ages 6 to 11 years old. Parents of children participating in the research, completed the BASC questionnaire shortly before and after the art therapy intervention. The conclusions on the process of each child in the art therapy group, are explained individually as recorded in the sessions notes and data registry sheets. This is followed by a statistical analysis of mean difference - by t test for paired samples - of responses to the aggressiveness scales of the questionnaire BASC. According to the parents, aggressiveness decreases significantly after treatment (t = 2.687, p = 0.036) from 55.29 points to 47 points (difference = 8.29). There is also a high correlation (greater than 0.7) between parent responses before and after treatment. By this analysis, we have found a statistically significant improvement -in parents´ questionnaires- on the scale of aggressiveness. If we could have benefitted from a larger sample, the degree of significant differences found might be even greater. From the data collected in this study, we conclude that art therapy groups in the school setting can have a positive effect in reducing children´s aggressiveness. Further studies may explore which would be the specific art techniques more suitable for this type of population, together with differences of treatment impact according to age of students and completed number of art therapy sessions.
Group, art therapy, aggressiveness, behavior problems, psychology.