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Journal Article


Bornmann BA, Mitelman SA, Beer DA. Arts Psychoth. 2007; 34(3): 216-222.


(Copyright © 2007, Elsevier Publishing)






Aggression is one of the major reasons for inpatient hospitalization in child psychiatry. The problem of aggression faced by inpatient child psychiatry needs solutions that are practical in nature and offer an ease of implementation. In this study a psychotherapeutic relaxation group, a combination of creative arts therapy and progressive muscle relaxation, was implemented in the school setting of inpatient child psychiatry at Elmhurst Hospital Center, Queens, New York to explore the relationship between the group and aggression. The control group N = 23 received treatment as usual, and the experimental group N = 25 in addition to treatment as usual received up to 13.5 h of relaxation training. Both groups were rated daily during school hours by the Modified Overt Aggression Scale (MOAS). The experimental group demonstrated significantly lower aggression scores as measured by the MOAS. Analysis utilized a two-tailed t-test and univariate analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) with length of stay as a co-variate and both tests produced almost identical and significant results on total aggression scores. Along with other management techniques, a relaxation prevention program may help children manage aggressive impulses and prevent crisis situations due to aggression.

Keywords: Psychotherapeutic relaxation; Aggression; Inpatient child psychiatry; School-based violence prevention; Restraint and seclusion


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