Effects of motifs in music therapy on the attention of children with externalizing behavior problems

Yau, King-chi and Fachner, Jörg C. (2021) Effects of motifs in music therapy on the attention of children with externalizing behavior problems. Psychology of Music, 49 (3). pp. 529-546. ISSN 1741-3087

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1177/0305735619880292


Recent studies highlight the role of attention (i.e., executive attention and joint attention) in the negative association between children’s externalizing behavior problems (EBPs) and self-regulation. In music therapy improvisation, “Motifs” represent a repeated and meaningful use of freely improvised or structured music. They have been reported to be effective in drawing attention toward joint musical engagement. This study aimed to examine the effects of clinically derived motifs on the attention of a child with EBPs. Video microanalysis of four therapy sessions was employed. Interaction segments with/without motifs were then selected for analysis: (a) Executive attention measurement: a two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted to examine the effects of Motifs (Factor I) across sessions (Factor II) on the duration of interaction segments. (b) Joint attention measurement: another two-way ANOVA investigated the effects of these two factors on the duration of joint attentive responses in each segment. Results showed that (a) the segments with Motifs tended to decrease in duration throughout the sessions, while (b) these segments showed a significant increase in proportions of joint attentional responses. These findings suggest a positive effect of Motifs on enhancing efficiency of joint attention execution over time, indicating the child’s recognition of the Motifs through learning.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: attention, behavior problems, music therapy, motifs, microanalysis
Faculty: Faculty of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
Depositing User: Lisa Blanshard
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2020 11:15
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2022 16:46
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/705132

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