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Hip Hop Therapy: An Exploratory Study of a Rap Music Intervention with At-Risk and Delinquent Youth

Abstract

This article presents the results of an exploratory study of the therapeutic potential of a rap music intervention in group work with youth. “Hip-Hop Therapy (HHT)” is an innovative synergy of rap music, bibliotherapy, and music therapy. A pretestposttest experimental design with random assignment to groups was used to compare outcomes of youth that attended HHT sessions (n = 5) and youth that attended comparison group therapy sessions (n = 6) at a residential facility for at-risk and delinquent youth. Post-hoc qualitative data are also presented to provide depth to our understanding of the experiences of the youth in the HHT group. Because rap music has become increasingly popular among youth, it was expected that under a specific set of conditions rap music would improve the therapeutic experience and outcomes for youth. Taken together, the quantitative and qualitative results partially supported the hypothesis. Implications for clinical practice, as well as future directions in research are noted.

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Tyson, E.H. Hip Hop Therapy: An Exploratory Study of a Rap Music Intervention with At-Risk and Delinquent Youth. Journal of Poetry Therapy 15, 131–144 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1019795911358

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1019795911358

  • bibliotherapy
  • cultural sensitivity
  • music therapy
  • poetry therapy
  • rap music