Joint Drumming and Prosocial Behaviour in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disability

Farmer, Celeste (2014). Joint Drumming and Prosocial Behaviour in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disability Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Farmer, Celeste
Thesis Title Joint Drumming and Prosocial Behaviour in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disability
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2014-10-08
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Kana Imuta
Total pages 75
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Joint music-making is an important part of human culture that serves many social functions. Research has suggested that engaging in joint music-making can improve the subsequent prosocial behaviour of typically-developing pre-schoolers by promoting joint attention and shared intentionality. It is unclear, however, what specific aspect of musicmaking drives this effect. In this study, I focus on the most fundamental aspect of music—the beat—to investigate whether the benefits of joint music-making extend to children with ID and/or ASD. A total clinical sample of 21 five- to nine-year-old children with ID alone, or ASD with comorbid ID engaged in a joint drumming, or joint colouring activity with an experimenter. The key difference between these activities was the presence (in the drumming condition) or absence (in the colouring condition) of a central beat. After completing one of the two activities, children were faced with three situations in which they could demonstrate prosocial behaviour by helping, sharing with, or comforting the experimenter. A sample of 34 typically-developing children, matched to the clinical sample on receptive language ability, was also tested. It was hypothesised that, if the beat element alone is sufficient to promote the social effects of joint music-making, overall, children in the drumming condition would act more prosocially than those in the colouring condition. Results showed that overall, children’s subsequent prosocial behaviour did not differ whether they were in the drumming or the colouring condition. However, for the clinical sample, the results of a baseline prosocial measure suggested that both conditions had an equally positive effect on their subsequent prosocial behaviour. This suggests that perhaps the behavioural synchrony and social context involved in both conditions were driving the effects on prosocial behaviour. These findings have implications for future therapy or interventions designed to improve the prosocial behaviour of children in clinical populations.
Keyword drumming
prosocial behaviour
children
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Intellectual disability

 
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Created: Wed, 29 Apr 2015, 10:30:32 EST by Anita Whybrow on behalf of School of Psychology