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To what extent can puppet play ameliorate the symptoms of social phobia in the classroom?

By January 1, 2015No Comments

This study investigated to what extent puppet play sessions might alleviate the symptoms of social phobia in the classroom in four girls aged six to eight years old. Three assessment tools were used to determine if the puppet sessions amended the participants’ behaviour over the course of the study. These were the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire to determine the possible difficulties the participants displayed (completed by the class teacher before the start, in the middle and at the end of the puppet sessions), the Social Phobia Inventory to determine the degree of social phobia and the puppet sessions to measure possible changes in participants’ behaviour. The study included fourteen weeks of 30-45 minute puppet sessions offered on an individual basis where the participants were invited to play with any puppet they chose. The study found that the puppet sessions made a significant impact on some of the participants. Half of the participants exhibited a clear change of behaviour in the classroom and even though the other half did not show a marked change the puppet sessions still had a positive influence on their behaviour.
Although the results showed variability in outcomes the study recommends a larger sample size with a longer intervention period which then might prove to be more efficacious.