Puppetry in Art Therapy to Explore Prosocial Behaviors in Head Start Preschoolers

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Zakaras, Anne
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
This master’s thesis offers the results of a four-week pilot study to explore the use of puppetry in an art therapy intervention to increase prosocial behaviors with urban, Head Start preschoolers. The researcher employs storytelling techniques, the weekly creation of puppets, and a roleplaying exercise using the puppets to practice prosocial behaviors including empathy, sharing, helpfulness, kindness, and generosity. The researcher employed a mixed method research approach utilizing a pre- and post Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), observation of social behaviors, journaling and utilized collage-making as a reflective, arts-based research practice. Anticipated results include an increase in prosocial classroom behaviors in addition to increases in autonomy, ability to focus, creative engagement, and social engagement. Additional research was recommended.