Evaluation of a school-based creative arts therapy program for adolescents from refugee backgrounds.


Creative arts therapy programs delivered by qualified therapy professionals have been identified as effective for adolescents affected by adversity. The current study provided a controlled trial of creative arts therapy to address the psychosocial needs of students from refugee backgrounds. Forty-two students participated in a therapy trial, comprising an creative arts group and control group. Mental health and behavioural difficulties were assessed pre and post intervention. Hopkins Symptoms Checklist-25 (HSCL-25) and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) were used to assess well-being. Findings suggested an effect for a reduction in behavioural difficulties for the treatment group. A significant reduction in emotional symptoms was found for the treatment group. Findings provide empirical support for school-based creative arts therapy programs specific to refugee young people.