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An investigation into the psychological, social and personal benefits of creative drama for learning able and learning disabled adults

Osborne, Rachel (2010) An investigation into the psychological, social and personal benefits of creative drama for learning able and learning disabled adults. University of Winchester.

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Abstract

Creative drama is suggested to provide an opportunity for learning of social and expressive skills and development of confidence for learning disabled adults who often show deficits in these abilities (Snow, Amico & Tanguay, 2003). However, direct empirical evidence is limited (Jindal-Snape & Vettraino, 2007). Therefore ten weeks of in-drama session observations of 6 actors (3 with LD’s, 3 without LD’s) utilising one-zero time sampling were conducted to test the hypotheses that improvements in social skill application (such as Asking for Help, Aiding Others, Active Participation), decreases of counterproductive strategies (Disruptive and Withdrawn behaviour) and developments in confidence would occur. Furthermore, pre- and post- parent and peer survey interviews were conducted to assess behavioural and emotional expressivity changes outside of the drama environment. Results supported the hypotheses; all actors showed positive increases in Positive Interaction, Constructive and Confident behaviours, and a decrease in the application of Withdrawn and Disruptive behaviours, although group and individual analyses showed variations in behavioural distributions. Furthermore, interview data implied that learnt behaviours were generalised to a wider social context. However, reliability and validity of results is questionable, and further research into the effectiveness of specific dramatic activities as facilitative tools for specific LD’s and longevity of intervention gains is needed for a more comprehensive understanding of the psychological, social and personal benefits of creative drama.

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