Publications

More Light About Each Other: Theater Education as a Context for Developing Social Awareness and Relationship Skills

APA PsycNet

Abstract

Social awareness and relationship skills are two essential components of children’s socioemotional development that undergo rapid consolidation in middle childhood. Previous research has found that growing up in poverty can undermine the development of social awareness and relationship skills. It has also suggested that theater education might serve as an important context in which these skills can develop.

In the current study, we examined whether participation in a program of theater education was associated with higher levels of two key aspects of social awareness—empathy and perspective-taking—and openness to establishing relationships with peers among a sample of children placed at risk by poverty. After participating in the program, children exhibited significantly higher scores on measures of empathy (B = .32, SE = .10), t(7.65) = 3.33, p = .011, and openness to establishing peer relationships (B = .77, SE = .23), t(5.05) = 3.29, p = .021, than their comparison group peers. Among a randomly selected subset of students from both the treatment and comparison groups, children in the treatment group exhibited larger gains in their perspective-taking than children in the comparison group. These results are interpreted in the context of previous research and their implications for educational policy, especially as it relates to arts education for children in poverty.

(PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved)

Access this publication.

SHARE

Recent Publications

Book: Managing a Nonprofit Organization (40th Anniversary Edition)

Dr. Thomas Wolf

July 19, 2022

Free Press

An essential and practical resource for the nonprofit field. Celebrating its fortieth anniversary, this classic is now updated for a new generation. Tens of thousands of staff members,

Book: Effective Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations

Dr. Thomas Wolf

January 02, 2014

Allworth

How Executive Directors and Boards Work Together Managing a nonprofit organization has many challenges. One key to success is building a strong relationship between the executive director and

Book: The Routledge Companion to Music and Human Rights

Routledge

The Routledge Companion to Music and Human Rights is a collection of case studies spanning a wide range of concerns about music and human rights in response to intensifying