Qualitative and Arts-Based Evidence from Children Participating in a Pilot Randomised Controlled Study of School-Based Arts Therapies †
2. Materials and Methods
2.2. Study Design
2.3. Study Procedure
2.4. Arts Therapies Intervention
2.5. Methods of Data Collection and Analysis
2.5.1. Interviews with Children
2.5.2. Children’s Arts Work
3.1. Interviews with Children
3.1.1. Helpful Elements of Arts Therapies for Children’s Mental Health and Well-Being
Engagement with the Arts and Self-Expression
“I was sharing things that I was not used to share with anyone else.”(9 years-old-dance movement therapy)
“I made it [the character] look like crazy, you know, like my auntie used to be before she passed away. I want to be like my auntie so this [character] was actually me.”(9 years-old-art therapy)
“One of my favourite [role-play] was the pirates on the island, where we could choose to fight with the pirates on the boat if we wanted, or stay still on the island.”(9 years-old-dance movement therapy)
“I could tell my own story through my own puppet, but nobody knows if it’s a true story or if I made it all up.”(8 years-old-dramatherapy)
“I placed all my family in my sand tray, some trees around and a lake that I go with my parents to relax and spend the weekend sometimes […] the sense of the sand was very relaxing, reminded me of our weekends away.”(10 years-old-art therapy)
“We all know that it’s not like gossip what we say and we have to protect each other.”(9 years-old-music therapy)
“It was easy to share when I choose the people I want to share with and I know that we all do the same […] confidentiality was very helpful.”(9 years-old-dance movement therapy)
“I liked the sessions that started and finished with the same song to know that I am not in the class anymore, and to prepare me to go back to the class. The song in the end was my favourite; it made me happier and ready to go back to class.”(8 years-old-music therapy)
“When I feel upset I focus on my breath and it helps me calm down.”(9 years-old-dance movement therapy)
“It made feel less stressed than I was used to be. I am still stressed in the inside but not on the outside anymore. Before I would be stressed in the inside and also the outside.”(10 years-old-art therapy)
“It made me sleep better because I felt less stressed.”(10 years-old-dramatherapy)
“I try to relax for ten minutes before I go to bed and I sleep better than before.”(9 years-old-dance movement therapy)
“My dream is to become a head teacher, that’s the wish I wrote down on my dreamcatcher and I hope this dream will come true one day […] to help other children feel good, take good grades, have fun at school and be fair.”(10 years-old-art therapy)
“I had a vision of myself as a volcano which has superpowers. When I’m angry, I look like the fire. When I’m calm, I look like the water. When I’m in the middle, I look like the clouds. I notice non-stop different things in my mind; water, fire, clouds… but most of the time I feel like the fire.”(10 years-old-art therapy)
“When we were sharing the boat of our difficulties, I was thinking that things will get better and I felt better.”(9 years-old-art therapy)
“I used to be really angry, I wanted to destroy everything. I had never listened in my life, never. I couldn’t even concentrate.”(10 years-old-art therapy)
“I’m fighting less with my brothers, and I control my anger. I try not to respond immediately when something happens and take my own time when I need it.”(10 years-old-dance movement therapy)
“When I am frustrated, I know that there are better ways than being mad at other people when they haven’t really done anything and it’s not their fault.”(9 years-old-dramatherapy)
“I got to forget about all the bad things, or most of the bad things in my mind.”(9 years-old-dramatherapy)
“I feel happier coming to school.”(7 years-old-music therapy)
3.1.2. Unhelpful Elements of Arts Therapies for Children’s Mental Health and Well-Being
Lack of Time
“I could spend hours, no, I could spend days in each craft we did. I didn’t want to feel in a rush.”(8 years-old-art therapy)
Lack of Group Cohesion
“I didn’t feel comfortable to share around S, we fight a lot in the class and I can’t concentrate when he is around.”(10 years-old-art therapy)
“It was when we did the mirroring that D said “I don’t want to do this, I don’t like that” but I think he just didn’t want to be a partner with me […] I didn’t feel good about it.”(9 years-old-dance movement therapy)
“It was so annoying and frustrating when R and E were shouting at each other so loud that I couldn’t focus for the rest of the time.”(10 years-old-dramatherapy)
Small Number of Sessions and High Number of Children
“I felt very sad because the sessions were over. I was crying without reason.”(9 years-old-dance movement therapy)
“I felt upset because I didn’t want to let it go.”(7 years-old-music therapy)
“I would prefer smaller numbers [of children], like five of us in each group.”(8 years-old-dance movement therapy)
3.2. Children’s Arts Work
3.2.1. Themes of Children’s Arts Work
3.2.2. Aesthetic Qualities of Children’s Arts Work
4.1. Overview of Findings
4.2. Improving the Quality of Group Arts Therapies
4.3. Strenghts and Limitations
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Type of Arts Therapies||No. of Children Recruited||No. of Children Completed||Dropouts (Group)||Dropout Reason|
|Art therapy||16||14||2 (control group)||1 hospitalisation|
1 left school
|Dramatherapy||16||14||2 (1 from each group)||2 did not want to keep missing the PE classes|
|Dance movement therapy||16||16||N/A||N/A|
|Music therapy||14||12||2 (intervention group)||1 left school|
1 did not want to keep missing the assemblies
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Moula, Z.; Powell, J.; Karkou, V. Qualitative and Arts-Based Evidence from Children Participating in a Pilot Randomised Controlled Study of School-Based Arts Therapies. Children 2022, 9, 890. https://doi.org/10.3390/children9060890
Moula Z, Powell J, Karkou V. Qualitative and Arts-Based Evidence from Children Participating in a Pilot Randomised Controlled Study of School-Based Arts Therapies. Children. 2022; 9(6):890. https://doi.org/10.3390/children9060890Chicago/Turabian Style
Moula, Zoe, Joanne Powell, and Vicky Karkou. 2022. "Qualitative and Arts-Based Evidence from Children Participating in a Pilot Randomised Controlled Study of School-Based Arts Therapies" Children 9, no. 6: 890. https://doi.org/10.3390/children9060890