An intervention: The effects of play therapy on developmental achievement levels of abused children
The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of play therapy intervention on developmental achievement levels of abused children between the ages of 9.7 months and 80.7 months. The theoretical framework for this study was Gil's (1979) social psychological model of abuse and Erikson's (1963) developmental theory. A theoretical linkage was established in order to demonstrate the relationship between the incidence of abuse and developmental achievement. A play intervention model explained the relationship between play intervention, abuse, and developmental achievement. This study included 20 abused children referred by the Department of Human Resources, Childrens' Protective Services, and two Child Development Clinics. A nonequivalent control group was utilized. There were 10 subjects in the experimental group and 10 subjects in the control group. Both groups were pretested. One group of 10 was given a specific treatment while the other group of 10 was given no treatment. Following the treatment, both groups were administered a posttest. A quasi-experimental research design was utilized. The dependent variable, developmental achievement, was measured by the administration of the Minnesota Child Development Inventory to the primary caretakers of the subjects. Play therapy intervention was administered for 8 weeks to the control group. At the end of 8 weeks, both groups were again administered the MCDI. Data analysis included: frequency distribution of groups which indicated specific demographic variables: analysis of covariance, Mann Whitney U, and a 2 x 2 factorial analysis of posttest scores. The findings of the study demonstrated that there were no significant differences between abused children receiving play therapy intervention and abused children not receiving play therapy intervention in general development, gross motor development, fine motor development, expressive language development, comprehension-conceptual development, situation comprehension development, and self-help development. There was a significant difference noted between abused children receiving play therapy intervention and abused children not receiving play therapy intervention in personal social development.