Principles of play: A dialogical comparison of two case studies in school-based mentoring

Rebecca K. Frels, Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


School-based mentoring is a means for community adults to work with students for a sense of belonging and connectedness in school. Indeed, tenets of play therapy, especially through a child-centered approach, are particularly useful in the school setting to impact a sense of belonging and connectedness for students. The power and permanence elements in mentoring outlined by Keller and Pryce (2010) underscore the undeniable differences between adults and youth that impact relationship closeness. Therefore, to identify relationship qualities of dyadic relationships (the immediate setting) in mentoring, using a dialogical analysis, we compare 2 case studies through the lens of Axline's (1989) child-centered approach: 1 deemed by the mentor as successful and lasting, and the other deemed by the mentor as unsuccessful and not lasting. Further, we align Axline's tenets to examine interactions in these cases and extend these concepts for working with children and youth in school-based mentoring. By presenting detailed descriptions of 2 case studies, we hope to highlight principles and characteristics for relationship strategies to impact synergy in the dyadic exchange.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-148
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Play Therapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • child-centered
  • mentoring
  • relationships
  • school
  • students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and Manual Therapy
  • Clinical Psychology


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