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An evaluation of changes in specific behavioural indicators following a series of storytelling sessions using puppets with boys, aged six to seven years, displaying symptomology of social inhibition in a school setting.

By January 1, 2010No Comments

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of storytelling using puppets as an intervention for social inhibition with boys aged six to seven years old. This evaluation was achieved by identifying changes, if any, in specific indicators of social inhibition displayed by boys in a school setting during the course of the study. The study was carried out over a period of 10 weeks during which six participants attended individual, weekly sessions of 45 minutes. During each session a therapeutic story,
created by the researcher, was presented using puppets. Thereafter the child was given the opportunity to retell the story and engage in his own storytelling using the puppets. A child-centred approach based on the Axline principles of Play Therapy
(Axline, 1974) was used. The inquiry paradigm employed is that of a qualitative, hermeneutic procedure, supported by quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection. Assessments of the children were carried out before, during and after the
research intervention. Data collection methods included a researcher-completed Interaction and Engagement Observation Sheet, a teacher-completed Shyness Scale and a teacher-completed Goodman’s Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (Goodman, 1997). Results show a positive reduction in the levels of social inhibition in the participants during the research period. This suggests that the use of storytelling with puppets may be an effective tool in facilitating the reduction of social inhibition in children. The implications and limitations of these findings for intervention with socially inhibited children and future research are discussed.