Helping Children of Battered Women Improve their Self-Concept: An Art-based Approach

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Kunkle, Julie
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
At-risk children who reside in a battered women’s shelter have been found to have a low selfconcept (Jaffe, Wolfe, & Wilson, 1990). This quantitative, before-and-after study, investigated the effects of a four-week art therapy group on self-concept of at-risk children who were residing in a shelter for survivors of domestic abuse. Study participants ranged in age from seven to twelve and were randomly assigned to the control or experimental groups, with the experimental group receiving art therapy semiweekly. Self-concept was measured by administering the Piers-Harris Children’s Self-Concept Scale (PHCSCS), Second Edition, to both groups before and after the intervention. The investigator found that the experimental group showed a greater increase in their self-concept than that of the control group, as measured by the PHCSCS. These preliminary findings show support for the use of art therapy with children living in a battered women’s shelter to increase their self-concept.