Special Education Research Critique

Essay by nicolec19College, UndergraduateA-, November 2014

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Research Article Critique


Rickson, D. J., & Watkins, W. G. (2003). Music therapy to promote prosocial behaviors in aggressive adolescent boys A pilot study. Journal of Music Therapy, 40(4), 283-301.


The hypothesis of this research study was to determine if music therapy would help promote prosocial behaviors in aggressive boys. These subjects have different social, emotional, and learning disorders.


The subjects were selected from a group of 88 young boys who have intellectual, social, and emotional deficits. These boys were enrolled in a special education facility in New Zealand. The students who started before May 2000 and after March 2001, which was 49 students, were not included because of the likelihood of them leaving before the study was completed. This left a remaining 39 students. These students were given the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) test. A total of 21 students were excluded due to lack of aggressiveness and already gone through musical therapy.

Researchers were left with 18 boys whose ages ranged from about 11 years and six months to 15 years and three months. These subjects had an extreme measure on the CBCL test. 12 of the boys were already diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Of the 12, five had a dual diagnosis which included Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) or Conduct Disorder (CD). Four had a general developmental delay and two had a head injury along with depression. About half of the boys were taking psychotropic medication. They were randomly assigned into two music groups of six and one control group of six. One subject was suspended right after the therapy began. Another quit after a few minutes into a session. Also, one more was suspended from school after one session due to extreme disruptive and...