Date of Award
Bachelor of Science
anxiety, skills, social, children, groups
Children with Asperger’s syndrome have higher than typical levels of anxiety; moreover, their level of anxiety is related to their degree of social skills deficits. In non-clinical populations, role-playing and drama techniques have been used successfully to lower anxiety and increase social skills. We held seven sessions of role-playing and theater exercises, conducted in small groups, focused on specific social skills (getting to know people/introducing self, working together/trust/listening, reading emotions/nonverbal cues, self-control/assertiveness, managing stress and anxiety, detecting emotions through the voice, understanding others’ perspectives/cooperation). We examined whether participation in these sessions would lower anxiety and increase social skills in children with Asperger’s and High-Functioning-Autism. No improvement was seen on survey measures of anxiety and social skills, but adult’s observations of children both in the groups (rated by group leaders) and outside the groups (parents’ reports of behaviors at home) revealed improvement in social skills and emotional regulation.
Magin, Rachel, "Reducing Anxiety and Increasing Social Skills in Children With Asperger's Through Drama and Role-Playing Games" (2014). Honors Theses and Student Projects. 552.