Date of Award

Spring 5-22-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Vivien Marcow Speiser, PhD


The current study examined the effect of applying dance/movement therapy elements using an emotional-based approach on Chinese bilingual children in the telehealth format. Previous research showed that Asian American children and bilingual children were at higher risk of developing mental health problem. Several effective emotional regulation programs for children have incorporated body-based elements, emotion storybooks, and different types of creative arts. Neuroscience research revealed that dance/movement therapy could activate mirror neurons and generate feelings of being understood and empathized with to reach therapeutic effects. Language/ethnicity match of therapist and client was found to be important variables affecting the outcomes of therapy. Previous literature also showed the effects of creative arts therapies via telehealth on therapeutic outcomes. As an Asian dance/movement therapist, the researcher of the current study is interested in exploring the effect of dance/movement therapy on emotional regulation of Chinese bilingual children. Children emotion storybooks with application of body-based emotional regulation techniques were introduced to two Chinese bilingual children throughout the six-week intervention. Parent coaching was provided every session. Positive results were found from children’s responses, parents’ descriptions, and my movement response. Nevertheless, the positive results of the current study could not be explained solely by dance/movement therapy elements applying to the intervention. Further research examining the effects of parental involvement, language/ethnicity match, utilization of storybooks and different art modalities, and body-based emotional regulation techniques was recommended. The comparison between the effect of dance/movement therapy in the telehealth format and in-person format was also suggested.

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