Graduation Term

9-26-2023

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)

Department

School of Music

Committee Chair

Andrea AC Crimmins

Abstract

This study investigated the effects of music therapy intervention on on-task behaviors of early adolescents with autism spectrum disorder and/or intellectual disabilities. A within-subject research design was used with four early adolescents diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and/or intellectual disabilities from a Junior high school in the United States. Four school-age students from one classroom (N=4, male= 2, female= 2, mean ages =11.75 years) were selected and assigned to attend two alternated treatment conditions: four group non-music therapy sessions (Treatment A) and four group music therapy sessions (Treatment B). A security video camera recorded the duration of on-task behaviors under both conditions during the interventions for data collection. The result indicated that both treatment A and treatment B positively affected on-task behaviors, but music therapy intervention (79.54%) were more effective than non-music interventions (66.60%). A paired samples t-test was used to compare the effective differences of on-task behaviors between Treatment A and Treatment B. Statistical analysis of these data revealed that the duration of on-task behaviors was significantly higher during Music Therapy Interventions (M=79.54, SD=20.25) than that during non-music interventions (M=66.60, SD= 16.10), t(3) = 3.84, p< .05. The t-value of 3.84 was statistically significant as the p value of .031 is <.05. Music therapy can help increase on-task behaviors because it has positive effects for school age students with special needs on the following factors: (1). intrinsic motivation and engagement; (2). sensory integration and reduction of external distractions; (3). brain arousal and attention; (4). instruction understanding and compliance behaviors; (5). executive functions; (6). positive social context; (7). emotional regulation. Based on the findings, it was recommended that teachers, caregivers, and parents of school-age students with autism spectrum disorder and/or intellectual disorders adopt music therapy as a therapeutic strategy to enhance on-task behaviors during the learning process.

KEYWORDS: Music Therapy; On-Task Behavior; Autism Spectrum Disorder; Intellectual Disabilities; Neurodevelopmental Disorder, Adolescents, etc.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.30707/ETD2024.20240618063949632437.999955

Page Count

110

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