Turning the focus to behavioral, emotional, and social well-being: The impact of child-centered play therapy.

This study evaluated the impact of participating in child-centered play therapy for qualifying diverse second-grade students, implemented through the Primary Mental Health Project treatment protocol. This preventative approach focuses on the behavioral, emotional, and social skills of children through child-centered play therapy. Second-grade students at 1 elementary school were assessed by their teachers for 4 types of behaviors: task orientation, behavior control, assertiveness, and peer/social skills. Results demonstrated significant improvement in all 4 areas assessed for students who qualified for and received services over the course of 1 academic year. Findings suggest that child-centered play therapy is an effective preventative approach for students who are at risk for developing adverse behaviors that could negatively impact their academic success. Implications and the importance of providing preventative intervention for at-risk children are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)