The short-term effect of a group drumming intervention on aggressive behaviour among adolescent girls diagnosed with conduct disorder **

Elize Janse van Rensburg, Rialda Hattingh, Cornel van Rooyen, Monique Chelin, Tarina Buitendag, Maureen Taylor, Putter Lucinda, Janine Harholdt, Carina van der Merwe, Jacqueline van Druten

Abstract


Aggressive behaviour is a primary symptom of conduct disorder and is one of the strongest predictors of criminality for individuals with conduct disorder. There is a need for appropriate interventions targeting aggressive behaviour among adolescents with conduct disorder that is relevant to the diverse South African population. This study reports on the short-term effect of a group drumming intervention program on aggression among adolescent girls (13 to 18 years) diagnosed with conduct disorder at a school for girls with behavioural problems in the Free State. An experimental, randomised pre-test post-test control group design was used. The intervention group (n=13) was exposed to a three-week drumming intervention while their matched controls (n=13) continued with their normal daily program. Both groups completed the Aggression Scale questionnaire before and after the intervention. The median Aggression Scale score of the intervention group showed a marked decrease from 20 to 7 from the pre-test to the post-test, although this difference was not statistically significant (95% CI [-13;5]). The median difference between the post-test scores for the control and intervention groups did, however, reveal a statistically significant difference in the levels of aggression experienced by the respective groups after the intervention (95% CI [-28;-3]). This study therefore delivered promising results suggesting that group drumming can be an effective intervention for the reduction of aggression among adolescent girls diagnosed with conduct disorder.

Aggressive behaviour is a primary symptom of conduct disorder and is one of the strongest predictors of criminality for individuals with conduct disorder. There is a need for appropriate interventions targeting aggressive behaviour among adolescents with conduct disorder that is relevant to the diverse South African population. This study reports on the short term effect of a group drumming intervention program on aggression among adolescent girls (13 to 18 years) diagnosed with conduct disorder at a school for girls with behavioural problems in the Free State. An experimental, randomised pre-test post-test control group design was used. The intervention group (n=13) was exposed to a three week drumming intervention while their matched controls (n=13) continued with their normal daily program. Both groups completed the Aggression Scale questionnaire before and after the intervention. The median Aggression Scale score of the intervention group showed a marked decrease from 20 to 7 from the pre-test to the post-test, although this difference was not statistically significant (95% CI [-13;5]). The median difference between the post-test scores for the control and intervention groups did, however, reveal a statistically significant difference in the levels of aggression experienced by the respective groups after the intervention (95% CI [-28;-3]). This study therefore delivered promising results suggesting that group drumming can be an effective intervention for the reduction of aggression among adolescent girls diagnosed with conduct disorder.


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ISSN 0038-2337 (print), ISSN 2310-3833 (online)

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