Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Dennis, Cory


Hundreds of thousands of people are affected by natural disasters every year. Many of these people face mental and emotional consequences from the traumatic experience. Research indicates that the aftereffects of such experiences can result in social, familial, and educational impairments in children. The current study tested the efficacy of a brief cognitive behavioral intervention on elementary school aged children intended to alleviate the mental and emotional consequences following a natural disaster. The study applied quantitative methods through pre and post intervention assessments measuring stress and hope. The participants assessed included 18 Filipino children between the ages of 10-12 years, who had recently been exposed to one of the strongest typhoons in the country’s history. Incorporating a quasi-experimental design, 12 of these participants were given a brief cognitive behavioral intervention based on their parent / caregiver involvement in a supplemental workshop and 6 participants were engaged in facilitated play acting as a comparison group. Results indicated that the cognitive behavioral intervention was effective in reducing stress in children, but had little to no effect on hope. However, facilitated play proved to be effective in raising hope levels, but also raised stress levels in children. An inference may be made that future interventions embodying both cognitive behavioral therapy and facilitated play could increase hope and decrease stress in children who have experienced a natural disaster. Furthermore, these initial findings contribute to seeking advocacy for inclusion of brief and low cost mental health interventions as part of relief efforts.

Included in

Social Work Commons