Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

PHD - Doctor of Philosophy


Expressive Therapies

First Advisor

Robyn Cruz

Second Advisor

Michele Forinash

Third Advisor

Muharrem Inan


The purpose of this study was to explore the effectiveness of dance movement therapy (DMT) on the quality of gait and socialization of children with cerebral palsy (CP). Participants (N=44) were randomly assigned to the intervention or the control group based on their diagnoses of hemiplegic (n=22) or diplegic (n=21) CP, with one misdiagnosed. The subjects, aged six to 12 (M = 8.4) diagnosed level I or II in the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS), were from an outpatient rehabilitation center in Istanbul, Turkey. Measures of velocity, stride length and cadence were obtained by a registered physical therapist using Motion Analysis. Measures of social skills and problem behaviors were also obtained by psychologists using the Social Skills Rating Scale (SSRS) before and after intervention. The intervention group (n=23) received 45 minutes of dance movement therapy (DMT) and the control group (n=21) received art activities (AA). Each group participated in the group setting three times a week for 10 sessions followed by post-tests. The results for the SSRS test indicated a significant difference increasing in social skills for the DMT group over the AA group. The DMT group also exhibited a significant difference in cadence compared to the control group. The other gait parameters, velocity and stride length, also increased in DMT group. Cohen’s d test (d=0.45 – for stride length, d= 0.46 – for velocity) indicated there was a medium effect size. These findings offer evidence that DMT intervention over a brief time was effective in improving socialization and increasing quality of gait for children with CP.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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