Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 26, Issue 7, pp 1915–1922 | Cite as

Long Term Child-Centered Play Therapy Effects on Academic Achievement with Normal Functioning Children

  • Pedro J. BlancoEmail author
  • Ryan P. Holliman
  • Joel H. Muro
  • Stephanie Toland
  • Janelle L. Farnam
Original Paper


This follow up study with 23 normal functioning 1st graders examined the long-term effectiveness of Child-Centered Play Therapy (CCPT) on academic achievement. Through the use of a one-way repeated measures analysis of variance, researchers examined the use of CCPT from pre-intervention to mid-intervention (16 sessions) to post-intervention (26 sessions). Results indicated that children who participated in 26 sessions of CCPT demonstrated statistically significant improvement on the Early Achievement Composite as measured on the Young Children’s Achievement Test (YCAT), along with increases in the Reading, Mathematics, and Spoken Language subscales. Participants showed statistically consistent improvement in academic scores of the full duration of the study. Overall, the findings imply that CCPT as a long term method can support academic achievement in the school system with normal functioning 1st grade students. The outcome suggests long term CCPT is an intervention for elementary/primary school counselors to use with children who have emotional or academic needs. The findings open the door for school counselors or outside professionals to use play therapy with children in the school system as a way of providing academic support and thereby promoting the field of play therapy in the school system.


Play therapy Academic achievement Child-centered Treatment length Normal functioning 


Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Family SciencesTexas Woman’s UniversityDentonUSA
  2. 2.Hunt County Children’s Advocacy CenterGreenvilleUSA
  3. 3.Texas Woman’s UniversityDentonUSA

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