The group psychotherapeutic effects of human modelling psychotherapy on the self-esteem of street children identified as having low self-esteem
Chapman, Mark David
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The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a highly specialized psychotherapeutic intervention on the self-esteem of Black and Coloured street children in Southern Africa. The literature review emphasized the following : (a ) a paucity of research on psychotherapy for street children and (b) a paucity of research into the self-esteem of Black and Coloured street children. Following the literature review a number of hypotheses were tested among street children. The experimental sample comprised of 16 adolescent street children residing at a second phase shelter. They ranged in age from 11 to 16 years . After being pretested on the self-esteem measures (that is, the SEI and the DAP ), the sample was divided into an experimental (n = 6)and control group (n =10). The experimental group was exposed to Human Modelling psychotherapy and the control group to a self-esteem enhancing programme. Human Modelling psychotherapy was first implemented for a period of 3 weeks and following an interruption of 3 months was again implemented as a marathon follow-up group for 4 days. Multiple comparisons were made between the groups as well as within the experimental group, following post-testing and post post testing. A repeated measures pretest post-test design with a no treatment control group was utilized. This design was employed to assess the effectiveness of the treatment within the experimental group as well as between groups. Statistical comparisons between the two groups were done using the Mann-Whitney U test. The data from the repeated measures was scored, coded and analyzed using the BMPD statistical package. From a statistical perspective, the study indicates a poor outcome on all areas of self-esteem. This includes academic , social , general and personal self-esteem. The major findings are summarized as follows : (i) No significant differences were provided in terms of global self -esteem and its various dimensions. (ii ) A significant difference between the pre-, post- , and post-post total SEI scores within the experimental group was found. (iii ) Positive trends were evident in the experimental group on all four areas of self-esteem - social, academic, general and personal. This strongly suggests that the treatment had the desired effect. However, due to the small sample size, the results should be interpreted with caution which seriously limits the generalizability of this study. Qualitatively, Human Modelling psychotherapy can be viewed as a process which facilitates the development of insight and creative thought which can be used cross culturally. The empirical results strongly suggest that this form of therapy can be of therapeutic value to street children. Human Modelling in a group format has tremendous therapeutic potential i n respect of a higher degree of personal integration, however it becomes difficult to describe these subjective experiences objectively and to pin them down statistically. In conclusion, this form of psychotherapy could have the potential of making a significant impact on community orientated clinical psychology in Southern Africa.
- Health Sciences