Children communicate through symbolism and play as toys are children's words and play is their language (Landreth, 2012; Oaklander, 1988; Piaget, 1951; Ray, 2016). Play therapists facilitate developmentally appropriate support for children (Landreth, 2012). Often parents are unaware of the importance of play in children’s counseling (Brumfield & Christensen, 2011; Landreth, Bratton, Kellam, & Blackard, 2006).
Since adults often make decisions for children, it is important to know adults’ perceptions of play therapy utility. There is little research on parents’ knowledge of mental health services especially research specific to play therapy (Gallo, Comer, & Barlow, 2013; O’Connor & Langer, 2018). Literature does support that if parents are knowledgeable about mental health service options, they are more likely to take their children to therapy (e.g., Cunningham et al., 2008), and adults’ mental health literacy improves with information (e.g., Jorm, 2000). A literature review revealed no research specific to play therapy literacy or the general adult public. This dissertation focuses on the adult public’s perception of the utility of play therapy and whether information about play therapy changes perceptions.
Through Amazon Mechanical Turk, 298 participants completed a survey involving a play therapy utility instrument before and after receiving information about play therapy. Prior to receiving information, participants believed play therapy to be useful to very useful. Initially, female participants indicated play therapy was more useful than male participants. The more confidence in their knowledge of play therapy, the more useful the participant viewed play therapy initially. With more play therapy literacy education, the more individuals may value, select, or recommend play therapy. In the present study, participants’ ratings of the utility of play therapy did increase significantly after viewing a brief educational video. The influence of the educational experience appeared to vary by race, education level, and self-reported initial awareness of play therapy. Results suggest White individuals and those who have never heard of play therapy will be most impacted by educational play therapy outreach.
|Commitee:||Robinson, Samantha, Higgins, Kristin, Popejoy, Erin, Blisard, Paul|
|School:||University of Arkansas|
|School Location:||United States -- Arkansas|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Counseling Psychology, Therapy, School counseling|
|Keywords:||Counseling, Play therapy, Public perception, Utility|
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