Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Expressive Therapies

Abstract

This narrative, arts-based inquiry explored the experiences of four adopted adolescent females (ages 16, 18) during and after making the Personal Public Service Announcement (PPSA), a 30-second, mock digital PSA, which allowed them to voice their expertise on lived experiences. I facilitated six sessions per participant, using narradrama (Dunne, 2009), a drama therapy method that contextualizes narrative therapy with action-based interventions. A digital, audio-visual application on an i-Pad was implemented, allowing participants to animate plaster self-masks, created from their faces into digital, recorded PPSAs. An invitational Witnessing Session provided supported closure during the PPSA screening for the participants who were African American, European American, and Latin American. The research questions were as follows: 1. How do adopted adolescent females who have special needs defined by Child Welfare Services (CWS), and who have a history of being in foster care, experience making the Personal Public Service Announcement (PPSA)? 2. How does the experience of creating the PPSA contribute to their self-identity? 3. How does the articulated experience of adopted adolescent females who have special needs defined by Child Welfare Services (CWS), and who have a history of being in foster care contribute to understanding what they need from the expressive therapy field and other therapeutic, educational, or social support services? After I used portraiture (Lawrence-Lightfoot & Davis, 1997) and the Listening Guide (Gilligan et al., 2003) for analysis of narratives, five emergent themes were evidenced from the PPSA data and formatted data called I-poems: (a) self-expression and creativity, (b) self-identity or who I am and how I like to identify myself, (c) adolescent independence or how I want to live my life, (d) self-love or how I accept myself, and (e) survival that contends with being stuck or what I do with loss. While more research may be warranted to examine the contraindications of such explorations, the PPSA exercise may benefit foster care and adoption support services, youth advocacy, education, and the general public on the needs of adopted adolescent females whose voices are not often heard.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Number of Pages

203

Included in

Art Therapy Commons

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