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Title: Music therapy for youth at risk : an exploration of clinical practice through research
Author: Derrington, Philippa
ISNI:       0000 0004 2743 1417
Awarding Body: Anglia Ruskin University
Current Institution: Anglia Ruskin University
Date of Award: 2012
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This outcome study investigates whether music therapy can improve the emotional well-being of adolescents who are at risk of exclusion or underachievement. Specifically, it addresses music therapy’s impact on students’ self-esteem, anxiety, attitude towards learning, behaviour and relationships with peers. The setting for the research was a mainstream secondary school and its federated special school for students with emotional and behavioural difficulties. Over nineteen months, a mixed methods design was used to observe change in students before and after music therapy. One group received twenty, weekly, individual sessions, and the other formed a wait-list group for comparison and then received the same treatment. At four different times during the project quantitative data were collected from students, teaching staff and school records, and qualitative data from semi-structured interviews with the students before and after their period of intervention. The study found that music therapy made a positive difference. The high level of treatment adherence (95%) of all twenty-two students confirmed music therapy’s appeal to this client group. The majority of teachers (58%) reported improvement in students’ social development and attitude overall, and for some mainstream students (56%) recognition of self-concept increased. The conviction with which students conveyed their positive experiences of music therapy was striking. The study supports the author’s argument for therapeutic support to be made available at secondary schools and promotes a student-centred approach, as exemplified in the thesis. It concludes that music therapy can be effective for youth at risk but requires more participants in subsequent investigations for it to be proved statistically.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Music Therapy Charity
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: adolescence ; inclusion ; emotional and behavioural difficulties ; secondary education ; special needs ; music therapy