A Music Therapy Intervention for Refugee Children and Adolescents in Schools: A Process Evaluation Using a Mixed Method Design

Evelyn Heynen, Vivian Bruls, Sander van Goor, Ron Pat-El, Tineke Schoot, Susan van Hooren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Refugee children and adolescents have often experienced negative or traumatic events, which are associated with stress and mental health problems. A specific music therapy intervention is developed for this group in school settings. The aim of the present study was to set the first steps in the implementation of this intervention. A process evaluation was performed using a mixed method design among refugee children and adolescents (6-17 years) at three different schools in the Netherlands. Interviews were conducted with teachers and music therapists before, at the midpoint, and after the intervention. At these moments, children completed a classroom climate questionnaire and a visual analogue scale on affect. The results indicate that the intervention strengthens the process of social connectedness, resulting in a "sense of belonging". The intervention may stimulate inclusiveness and cultural sensitivity, and may contribute to a safe environment and the ability of teachers to adapt to the specific needs of refugee children. Refugee children and adolescents showed a decrease of negative affect during the intervention. When implementing the intervention in schools, it is important to take into account the initial situation, the prerequisites for the intervention, the professional competence, the experience of music therapists, and the collaboration and communication between the professionals involved.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1434
JournalChildren
Volume9
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sep 2022

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