Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) experience impairment in social cognition, which contributes to a variety of challenges for individuals with ASD, including elevated risks of loneliness, depression and anxiety. For this reason, various interventions have been developed to improve social ability in ASD populations. However, many existing interventions lack strong research support, or are inaccessible to many individuals with ASD due to high financial cost. Therefore, a need exists for affordable, effective psychosocial interventions for ASD that are widely accessible. One potential intervention is improvisational theater training (improv). Improv training for youth and young adults with ASD is already provided at multiple theaters across the US, and the current study collected information on one such program, measuring change in participant ratings of social ability, depression, anxiety, loneliness, and growth mindset as a result of participation. Participants reported a significant reduction in their perceptions of nervousness and being left out after completing the improv theater training, suggesting that improv theater decreases nervousness and feelings of exclusion among individuals with ASD. Participants also reported a significant increase in their perception of lacking companionship, suggesting that improv theater increases participant desire for companionship among individuals with ASD. Reliable Change Index analysis suggests that younger participants, male participants, and participants with greater social impairment were more likely to evidence reliable change as a result of improv theater training. Finally, positive correlations were found between social impairment and ratings of depression and loneliness and negative correlations were found between growth mindset and ratings of depression and loneliness. These findings provide preliminary evidence that suggests improvisational theater may be an effective intervention for reducing anxiety and nervousness among individuals with ASD.
|Commitee:||Andrews, Glena, Gathercoal, Kathleen, Jones, Celeste|
|School:||George Fox University|
|School Location:||United States -- Oregon|
|Source:||DAI-B 80/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Performing arts education, Theater, Clinical psychology|
|Keywords:||Asperger's, Autism, Improv theater, Loneliness, Social cognition, Social skills|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be