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The Effectiveness of Art Therapy in Reducing Internalizing and Externalizing Problems of Female Adolescents


 Start Page 51 | End Page 56


 OBJECTIVE: The internalizing and externalizing problems relating to childhood and adolescent have always been significant. Because there is special considerations in establishing communication with them and hence, the therapeutic methods for these problems must take into account these considerations. As establishing a therapeutic relationship is an important component of effective counseling, it seems that Art therapy may help alleviate these problems. The purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness of Art therapy in reducing internalizing and externalizing problems of adolescent girls (14 – 18 years old). METHOD: This is a semi-experimental study carried out in the form of a pre-test/post-test design with control group. The population of this study includes female students of Gole Laleh School of Art in district 3 of Tehran, Iran, out of which 30 students with internalizing problems and 30 individuals with externalizing problems were selected through targeted sampling. Students were randomly assigned to control and experimental groups. Experimental groups participated in 6 painting sessions designed based on Art therapy theories and previous studies. The material used for diagnosis of the problems in posttest and pretest was an Achenbach self-assessment form. RESULTS: Data were analyzed using a mixed analysis of variance (ANOVA). Our results showed that Art therapy significantly reduced internalizing problems (F = 17. 61, P < 0. 001); however, its effect in reducing externalizing problems was not significant (F = 3. 93, P = 0. 06). CONCLUSION: Art therapy as a practical therapeutic method can be used to improve internalizing problems. To reduce externalizing problems, more sessions may be needed. Thus, future studies are required to insure these findings.


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