This study examined the effectiveness of a Theraplay-based program that incorporated music as a rhythm-mediated component to facilitate attunement among children in two age groups. A total of 15 children, with 7 in the younger group (aged around 4) and 8 in the older group (aged around 6), participated in a 11-week program conducted in a group format. Data were collected before and immediately after the program. The children were evaluated using a questionnaire on social responsiveness as well as a performance-based rhythm matching task on attunement. The results indicated significant changes in children’s responsiveness to others. The effect size, particularly for the younger group, was also large. The qualitative data indicated stronger progress among children in the younger group. Despite the use of a small sample, the results of this study suggest a promising effect of rhythm and music in a Theraplay-based program for facilitating children’s synchronization and ability to establish connections. Limitations of the study and future directions are described.
Play Therapy Primary Areas:
Skill and Methods
Explain how music can be incorporated into a Theraplay-based program to establish connection with children who have social impairment
Give at least two examples of musical activities that can be used to facilitate affect attunement between child and adult
Develop ideas for evaluating programs for young children