Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Thesis (UNI Access Only)


Adopted children--Counseling of; Adlerian psychology; Play therapy;


In the United States adoption is the preferred resolution for children who have been removed from their biological parents care and are unlikely to return; however this process leaves children at increased risk to develop insecure attachments. Identifying developmentally appropriate effective counseling interventions helps add to the growing body of research that indicates increased risk of life long problematic behaviors in children with insecure attachments can be reduced by early interventions. This single case research design explored the impact of Adlerian Play Therapy in adopted children identified as having disruptive classroom behaviors. Children participated in twice weekly, individual 30 minute sessions of Adlerian Play therapy over the course of ten weeks. Participants showed mixed results with improvements in overall Total Problem behaviors, but a decrease in on-task behaviors as directly observed by an objective rater. Additionally children’s ratings of their maternal and peer acceptance levels decreased from pre to post-test indicating children perceived themselves as less competent. This is in contrast to teacher’s ratings of children’s actual levels of competence which suggests participants showed increases in the areas of cognitive competence and peer acceptance. Despite positive results from this study, it highlights the need for continued research with this population using this intervention.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


School of Kinesiology, Allied Health, and Human Services

First Advisor

Kristin Meany-Walen

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (vii, 74 pages)



File Format


Off-Campus Download