Graduate Program

Clinical Psychology

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Keith M. Wilson


The present study investigated the effectiveness of non-directive play therapy, operationalized as non-contingent attention (NCA), no-demands, and an enriched environment, on three developmentally normal children with a history of abuse or neglect. A single-case reversal-replication design was employed. Baseline consisted of contingent attention, demands, and a relatively non-enriched environment. Results indicated that for one of the participants, NCA, no-demands, and an enriched environment successfully decreased inappropriate play behaviors. More specifically, destructive and disrupted play behaviors occurred much less frequently in both treatment conditions compared to the two baseline conditions. The other two participants did not show any clear pattern of change in inappropriate play across experimental conditions. The importance of doing empirical research in this area is discussed, as well as future directions.