Children and Anger: Using the Arts to Facilitate Positive Change in Children with Severe Aggressive Tendencies

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Haythorn, Lindajo
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
Extreme aggressive tendencies demonstrated by elementary-aged children can impede their cognitive, educational, and social development. Consistent patterns of hostility and explosive outbursts create disruptions in the traditional classroom setting and prohibit learning. Current trends in school counseling may be effective at reshaping immediate behavior but do not always address the underlying cause for the adverse behavior. This single-subject design study examined the efficacy of art therapy in a small group setting as a solutions-focused intervention for solving emotional conflicts in six elementary-aged children who exhibit extreme aggressive behaviors. Data was collected using researcher developed teacher and student questionnaires and a behavioral checklist. A Kinetic School Drawing (KSD) was employed as an assessment of student readiness for change.