Gender differences in children's play therapy themes: Comparisons of children with a history of attachment disturbance or exposure to violence

John R. Holmberg, Helen E. Benedict, Linda S. Hynan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

The use of thematic content of the play of children in therapy is a common aspect to play therapy and an integral part of Thematic Play Therapy. In this project, the researchers investigated the possibility that gender and trauma history influence the play themes of children in therapy. Using the Benedict Play Theme Analysis System (BPTAS), a study of themes demonstrated by 44 children (aged 39-63 mo) participating in therapy through Head Start was conducted. The data were analyzed by comparing equally numbered groups of gender alone (male vs female), trauma history alone (attachment trauma vs attachment trauma plus exposure to violence in the history) and a combination of the possible influences (gender and trauma history). Results indicate that gender and trauma histories, as well as a possible interaction of the two influences, impact the frequency and types of themes that children play in therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-92
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Play Therapy
Volume7
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and Manual Therapy
  • Clinical Psychology

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