Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Community & Leadership Development

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Community and Leadership Development

First Advisor

Dr. Bryan Hains


Drug use poses a serious threat to the quality of life for many Kentuckians and their families. Recent statistics indicate drug offenders account for a significant portion (in one year, 52,597 arrests were made for drug violations statewide) of individuals within thecriminal justice system, directly affecting the economic vitality within our state (Bunn & Slavova, 2012; Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2012). These statistics signify an overwhelming need for effective prevention efforts and innovative treatment alternatives. This study provides an innovative alternative treatment for drug offenders that infuses social and emotional coping strategies using percussion as a context. During the innovative program participants were able to express, recognize, articulate and evaluate themselves and their peers’ emotional coping strategies while developing peer camaraderie. They did so while being introduced to rudimentary drumming skills, fusing emotional intelligence with the art of drumming. The hypothesis is that this innovative program will enhance participant emotional intelligence to express, learn an effective coping skill, and establish camaraderie with their peers.