Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Richard Walsh

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


The following study investigated the effectiveness of an intervention that was based on creative drama designed to improve the social skills of school age children identified as deficient in social-emotional development. The intervention, termed the structured fantasy approach, combines theoretical principals from psychodynamic theory, social learning theory, and creative drama. The study was conducted at a public school in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. Eight students from the third to sixth grade participated in a ten-week social skills program, while seven students from first to third grade participated in a similar program. Five first to third graders and four third to six graders served as a comparison group and did receive the program. Prior to the beginning of the program all four groups completed the pretest measures. This consisted of the Peer Interaction Scale completed by the children, the Group Participation Scale, and the Inventory of Personal, Social and Learning Skills completed by the children’s parents and teachers. The children in the experimental group then participated in a short term drama group. The children in the control group did not receive any type of intervention. After the intervention these measures were readministered. Children who participated in the program rated themselves as more confident in conflict situations as opposed to children who did not participate in the program. There were no changes in teachers’ or parents’ perception of the children’s strengths or problems in group participation skills. Parents and teachers did perceive changes in the children’s level of personal, social and learning skills as assessed by the Inventory of Personal, Social and Learning Skills questionnaire. Limitations of the study and recommendations regarding future research and intervention in the school system are discussed.

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