Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


Judy Shoemaker

Committee Member

Charles Frontrath

Committee Member

Lynne Schrum


Fine arts, Dance, Music, Aggression, Art Therapy, Daughters, Music, Poverty, Single Parent


This arts-based intervention program was designed to reduce anxiety and aggressive behavior in adolescent girls who were being reared without their fathers during the period of 2010–2015. The research questions were designed to investigate the scope, frequency, and severity of the problem of increased aggressive behavior and anxiety by girls being reared without their fathers; to evaluate the effectiveness of an arts-based intervention in reducing aggressive behavior and anxiety in girls being reared without their fathers; to investigate the ways that the use of an arts-based intervention might improve feelings about family relationships for single mothers and girls being reared without their fathers; and to gather observations and perceptions of all participants of the arts-based intervention regarding its impact on aggressive girls being reared without their fathers.

Eight children between the ages of 8 and 17 completed the study. Data collection consisted of administering the following surveys: the Adolescent Anger Rating Scale, the Children’s Aggression Scale, the Parent Adolescent Relationship Questionnaire, and a confirmation interview with parents. An anger-management intervention utilizing the arts as an outlet for self-expression was implemented during the winter 2013 semester.

Results showed the implementation fostered peer collaboration and resulted in reduced anger and aggression as well as increased communication and family cohesion. Expression through the arts, coupled with anger-management training, enabled girls to cope with their anger rather than acting out.

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