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Effect of Art Production on Negative Mood: A Randomized, Controlled Trial



Art therapists have long held that art production causes reductions in stress and elevations in mood (Rubin, 1999). The authors examined this claim in a randomized, controlled trial. Fifty adults between the ages of 18 and 30 were randomly assigned to either create an art work or to view and sort a series of art prints. Three measures of overall negative mood and of anxiety were collected before and after each intervention. Two-way ANOVAs (Group by Time) demonstrated significantly greater reductions in negative mood and anxiety in the art production group compared with the art viewing control group on all three measures (all p-values
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Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy
Publication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information:
Effect of Art Production on Negative Mood: A
Randomized, Controlled Trial
Chloe E. Bell BA
& Steven J. Robbins PhD
Arcadia University, Glenside, PA
Published online: 22 Apr 2011.
To cite this article: Chloe E. Bell BA & Steven J. Robbins PhD (2007) Effect of Art Production on Negative Mood:
A Randomized, Controlled Trial, Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 24:2, 71-75, DOI:
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Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 24
(2) pp. 71-75 © AATA, Inc. 2007
Art therapists have long held that art production causes
reductions in stress and elevations in mood (Rubin, 1999).
The authors examined this claim in a randomized, controlled
trial. Fifty adults between the ages of 18 and 30 were random-
ly assigned to either create an art work or to view and sort a
series of art prints. Three measures of overall negative mood
and of anxiety were collected before and after each interven-
tion. Two-way ANOVAs (Group by Time) demonstrated sig-
nificantly greater reductions in negative mood and anxiety in
the art production group compared with the art viewing con-
trol group on all three measures (all p-values < .005). These
results demonstrate that the simple act of creating a work of art
can produce dramatic reductions in negative mood and that
these reductions can be attributed specifically to the production
of art rather than to its viewing.
In recent years, members of the art therapy community
have increasingly called attention to the need for treatment-
outcome research examining the efficacy of art therapy
interventions. For example, Carolan (2001) argued that
health care professions such as art therapy have an ethical
responsibility to pursue research on patient outcomes. Fur-
thermore, Carolan pointed out that experimental designs
(e.g. randomized trials) are necessary in order to identify
cause and effect relationships. That is, only true experimen-
tal designs can positively identify a particular treatment
intervention as being the active ingredient in a patient’s
improved status. A number of other authors have made
similar calls for experimental research on the efficacy of art
therapy (e.g. Burleigh & Beutler, 1997; Deaver, 2002;
Tibbets, 1995).
As Reynolds, Nabors, and Quinlan (2000) reviewed,
the most common treatment-outcome research design
employed in the art therapy field to date has been the sin-
gle group, pre-post design in which a group of individuals
are evaluated before and after an art therapy intervention.
One example of this approach comes from Saunders and
Saunders (2000), who evaluated the effectiveness of art
therapy provided in a private agency to a group of children
and adolescents (ages 2-16) with behavioral problems. At
the outset of treatment, the participants were rated by the
therapists for the frequency and severity of 24 problem
behaviors. Therapists also listed three goals for each indi-
vidual’s treatment at this time. At the conclusion of treat-
ment, the therapists rated the same list of behaviors and
filled out a “goal attainment” checklist. The study found
that there was a statistically significant improvement in
both the frequency and severity of problem behaviors.
Furthermore, about 95% of all goals were classified as
completely” or “partially” met.
Although such results are certainly encouraging, this
study illustrates why single group designs are not sufficient
in examining treatment efficacy. In their classic works on
experimental design, Campbell and Stanley (1966) and
Cook and Campbell (1979) discussed the many alterna-
tive explanations for changes in behavior over time other
than the specific effects of a treatment (so-called “threats
to internal validity”). Among the issues discussed are his-
tory (improvement due to factors occurring external to the
study), maturation (improvement due to the passage of
time), selection bias (the kind of people entering treat-
ment are the kind of people who would improve in any
case), testing (changes caused by repeated administration
of the test instrument through boredom, fatigue, practice,
etc.) and regression to the mean (people tend to enter
treatment at their worst and can only improve). In addi-
tion, even studies with comparison groups are potentially
open to the possibility of expectancy effects (raters who are
aware that participants are supposed to improve rate them
accordingly and/or participants show improvement
because they think theyre supposed to). All of these pos-
sibilities can potentially account for the improvements in
behavior noted in the Saunders and Saunders (2000)
Effect of Art Production on Negative Mood:
A Randomized, Controlled Trial
Chloe E. Bell and Steven J. Robbins, Glenside, PA
B rief Reports
Editor’s note: This research was completed as part of the
requirements for a BA in psychology by Chloe E. Bell at Arcadia
University. Steven J. Robbins, PhD, is a member of the Depart-
ment of Psychology at Arcadia University, 450 South Easton
Road, Glenside, PA, 19038 (telephone: 215-572-2987). Corre-
spondence concerning this report may be addressed to Dr. Steven
Robbins by mail or via email at:
Downloaded by [Arcadia University] at 00:26 05 December 2014
study or indeed for treatment effects in any single group,
pre-post design.
Controlled randomized trials represent an alternative
to single group designs that allows these validity threats to
be eliminated or at least minimized. Random assignment is
intended to create comparison groups which have similar
levels of problem severity at the start of treatment and
which have equal opportunity to mature, regress to the
mean, change through repeated testing, or experience non-
treatment causes of improved functioning (such as family
support). Ideally, such trials mask (or “blind”) participants
to the purpose of the study so that the two groups do not
differ in their expectations of improvement. Furthermore,
outcome measures can be structured so that individuals
with knowledge of the study hypotheses and group assign-
ment do not have the opportunity to unintentionally bias
the results (ideally, all observers are masked or blinded). If
the results of such a study show greater improvement in the
treatment group than in the comparison condition, then a
much stronger case for the specific efficacy of treatment
can be made.
As Reynolds et al. (2000) reviewed, few such random-
ized trials have been performed in the art therapy field.
Their review identified only five such studies. As they dis-
cussed, these studies provide only mixed support for the
efficacy of art therapy. Furthermore, art therapy interven-
tions were typically bundled together with other treatment
modalities in these studies. Therefore, any improvements
in patient status could not be specifically attributed to the
art therapy component of treatment.
Since the publication of the Reynolds et al. (2000)
review, a few additional randomized trials of art therapy
have appeared. Pizarro (2004) randomly assigned under-
graduates to three conditions: writing about a stressful
event, drawing a picture of a stressful event, or drawing a
still life. They measured changes in general health, per-
ceived stress, physical symptoms, and negative mood. The
only group differences were on the “social dysfunction
scale of their health questionnaire; they found that the
writing group showed more improvement than the two art
groups. A second randomized trial was conducted by
Chapman, Morabito, Ladakakos, Schreier, and Knudson
(2001), who studied pediatric patients hospitalized for
traumatic injuries. Participants were randomly assigned to
receive standard hospital care or hospital care plus the
Chapman Art Therapy Treatment Intervention (CATTI).
Unfortunately, the study failed to produce a statistically
significant difference in symptom changes between groups.
Finally, Colwell, Davis, and Schroeder (2005) compared
the effects of art and music composition on the self-con-
cept of hospitalized children in a random assignment
design. Their results were mixed; across multiple measures
the music group showed greater improvement than the art
group on two subscales, while the art groups showed
greater improvement on one.
Studies such as those reviewed above illustrate why a
greater commitment to outcomes-based research is so
important to the future of art therapy. The largely negative
results just discussed demonstrate that it is not sufficient to
simply assume that art therapy interventions inevitably
produce improvements in clinical status. As with other
clinical interventions, it is almost certainly the case that art
therapy techniques will be better suited to some conditions
than to others and that the specific techniques employed
may determine the success of the intervention. Random-
ized trials are crucial for delineating the specific conditions
under which art therapy techniques produce improvements
in clinical status. As Burleigh and Beutler (1997) pointed
out, the logical possibility that any given treatment inter-
vention could do harm as opposed to good argues for the
need for such studies.
The present study was designed to provide some pre-
liminary evidence for one specific claim made on behalf of
art therapy techniques. It is a common supposition that the
production of art can have stress-reducing or relaxing
effects (the art-as-therapy approach, Kramer, 1971, 1973;
see also Rubin, 1999). However, this basic claim has yet to
be empirically supported in a controlled trial. The present
study attempts to provide some initial support by random-
ly assigning participants to one of two conditions: an art
production condition and an art viewing/sorting condi-
tion. In this way, we attempted to test the specific assertion
that it is the production of art (as opposed to exposure to
art) which has therapeutic effects. Past studies of art thera-
py have not attempted to separate these effects; conse-
quently, improvements in status could stem from the
effects of viewing the completed art work rather than from
its production. Furthermore, the use of an art viewing con-
dition was intended to produce a control group which
would be matched to the experimental condition for
expectations of enhanced mood (people commonly associ-
ate the viewing of art with relaxation and stress-relief) and
for the experience of completing a time-limited task (sort-
ing art as opposed to producing art). If art therapy has
effects which go beyond those produced by viewing art,
completing a task, or simply expecting to feel relaxed, then
participants in the art production group should experience
greater reductions in negative mood states than individuals
in the viewing and sorting condition.
The sample used in this study consisted of 50 adults
between the ages of 18 and 30 who were recruited through
advertising posters at a local university and through word-
of-mouth referrals in the local community. None of the par-
ticipants were known to be suffering from mood-related
disorders. Participants were recruited and assigned to condi-
tions without regard to prior experience with or training in
art or art therapy.
All study participants took part in a single laboratory
session. Following completion of the consent form, individ-
uals were first asked to write down a 10-item “to-do” list of
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their “most pressing concerns or worries.” Participants were
told that the list was for their private use only and would
not be collected at the end of the study. The purpose of the
list was to produce a baseline level of mild negative mood
against which the study manipulations could be assessed.
Following creation of the task list, all participants were
asked to fill out two standardized mood assessments: the
Profile of Mood States (POMS: McNair, Lorr, &
Droppleman, 1971) and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory
(STAI: Spielberger, 1983). The POMS asks subjects to rate
their current level of mood by rating the degree to which
65 mood-related adjectives describe their current state.
Higher scores on the POMS reflect more negative mood
states. The STAI is an instrument with two sets of 20 ques-
tions aimed at assessing an individual’s anxiety levels. The
20 “trait” questions are designed to produce a measure of
stable, long-term anxiety levels (trait anxiety), while the 20
state” questions are intended to measure moment-to-
moment fluctuations in anxiety (state anxiety). Once
again, higher scores denote more negative states.
Following completion of the baseline measures, partic-
ipants were assigned to one of two groups according to a
blocked randomization schedule. The 25 subjects in the art
production condition (Group Produce) were given 20 min-
utes to complete a free art task. All individuals were given
free access to blank sheets of 8-1/2" x 11" white paper and
their choice of crayons, colored pencils, charcoal pencils, or
oil pastels. Individuals were simply asked to draw whatever
they liked over the course of 20 minutes using as many
sheets of paper as they desired. The other 25 subjects
served as the control group and were asked to view and sort
60 art prints (Group View). The prints depicted famous
paintings (see Appendix for a list) and participants were
asked to view the prints and to categorize them into groups
“based on their pictorial content.” The intention was to
create a condition in which participants were viewing art
rather than producing it with a similar level of freedom to
approach the task at their own pace and to make whatever
judgments they chose. We asked individuals to sort the
prints rather than simply view them for two reasons. First,
we wanted to verify that individuals were actually looking
at the prints as instructed (compliance in Group Produce
was easily verified by the presence of a drawing at the end
of 20 minutes). Second, we wanted Group View to experi-
ence a time-limited task to match the task demands placed
on Group Produce. Our goal was to differentiate the
groups based solely on whether or not they produced art
rather than on their viewing of art or on their completion
of a time-limited task.
Following the 20 minutes of art production or viewing
and sorting, individuals were again administered using the
POMS and STAI. Before being dismissed from the study,
individuals were asked to make a list of 10 happy or
favorite memories as a means of reducing any anxiety
which might be remaining from the initial chore-list task.
Three outcome measures were analyzed in this study:
overall POMS score, state anxiety from the STAI, and trait
anxiety from the STAI. Mean scores on each scale before
and after treatment are depicted in Table 1 (higher scores =
more negative mood). Group differences were examined in
all three cases by means of a two-factor ANOVA in which
Group (Produce or View) served as the between-factor, and
Time (Pre or Post) served as the within factor. In each
analysis we looked for a Group by Time interaction which
would indicate differential change in mood state between
groups from before to after treatment.
As can be seen in Table 1, Group Produce appeared to
produce a greater reduction in negative mood on all three
measures. In each case, Group Produce demonstrated a
substantial decrease in negative mood score while Group
View showed lesser or minimal change. This impression
was borne out by the ANOVAs. For each of the three meas-
ures there was a significant Group by Time interaction
[POMS: F(1,48) = 11.2, p < .005; State Anxiety: F(1,48)
= 66.4, p < .001; Trait Anxiety: F(1,48) = 23.7, p < .001].
These significant interactions document a greater reduc-
tion in negative mood state in the art production group as
compared to the art viewing group.
The results of the present study clearly demonstrate
greater improvements in mood in a group of individuals
who were allowed to freely create a piece of art compared
to a group which was asked to view and sort art prints. This
result was documented across three independent measures
of negative mood states. Thus, these results support one of
the fundamental tenets of art therapy: the idea that the
production of art has general mood-enhancing properties.
Because the present study employed a randomized,
placebo”-controlled design, the results cannot easily be
attributed to factors other than the art production manip-
ulation. The use of random assignment means that group
differences are unlikely to be the result of selection bias,
regression to the mean, maturation, testing, or history.
Group Produce Group Produce Group View Group View
Pre Post Pre Post
POMS Total 65.4 (31.5) 31.4 (29.0) 94.8 (38.0) 84.7 (48.2)
STAI: State 54.9 (9.7) 38.0 (7.4) 55.2 (11.9) 55.0 (10.4)
STAI: Trait 48.8 (7.5) 42.2 (7.5) 50.2 (9.0) 51.2 (7.1)
Table 1
Mean scores (SD) on the POMS and STAI before and after treatment for the art production group
(Group Produce, n = 25), and the art viewing group (Group View, n = 25).
Downloaded by [Arcadia University] at 00:26 05 December 2014
Furthermore, because neither group was informed as to the
study hypotheses in advance and because both groups
received an intervention that could plausibly be expected
to produce elevations in mood (viewing art is commonly
viewed as a relaxing activity), the results are unlikely to
reflect differences in subject expectations (demand or
placebo effects). Finally, the use of standardized question-
naires as dependent measures eliminates the possibility of
biased judgments or ratings made by an observer with
expectations about the study results.
One possible confound in the study stems from the
nature of the control condition. Although it was assumed
that viewing art prints would be viewed as relaxing, the act
of sorting the prints could have been viewed as “test-like”
and thereby could have induced negative emotional states.
While this may have occurred in individual subjects, mean
mood scores in this group either remained flat across the
session (STAI) or showed mild improvement (POMS).
Therefore, the difference between groups does represent an
improvement in mood by Group Produce rather than a
worsening of mood in Group View. It should also be noted
that this study did not attempt to document whether the
negative mood manipulation used at the outset (making up
the “to-do” list) played a causal role in baseline mood
states. Our sole concern was having a sufficiently high
baseline of negative mood against which to compare the
two conditions. The reductions in negative mood docu-
mented in this study demonstrate that our participants had
adequate baseline levels of negative mood, but we cannot
determine whether the “to-do” lists were necessary to pro-
duce those levels.
Although the results of this study are straightforward,
they are limited in scope. First, this study employed a con-
venience sample of the general population rather than a
group of individuals with a particular diagnosed disorder.
Therefore, the results do not directly speak to the use of art
therapy with individuals with clinically significant condi-
tions. Second, the art intervention studied here was one of
the simplest to employ, asking subjects only to freely pro-
duce a work of drawn art in their media of choice. More
detailed art production procedures or instructions need to
be studied in their own right. Finally, the art task employed
here was not directed by a trained art therapist (the re-
searcher giving instructions was completing an undergrad-
uate senior thesis). Consequently, the present study was
not set up to assess the unique contribution to therapy
made by the therapeutic relationship between art therapist
and client.
In some respects, however, the limitations just de-
scribed highlight further the strength of the current find-
ings. Even in the absence of a sample with clinically-signif-
icant mood disorders, a detailed art therapy protocol, or a
trained art therapist, the simple act of freely drawing for 20
minutes produced clear reductions in negative mood com-
pared to the act of viewing and sorting art works. Further-
more, the inclusion of an art viewing comparison condition
isolates the production of art as the key factor in enhancing
mood. The findings reported here should encourage those
in the art therapy field to more fully document in controlled
trials the benefits of art therapy in other settings and with
other populations.
Burleigh, L. R., & Beutler, L. E. (1997). A critical analysis of two
creative arts therapies. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 23(5), 375-381.
Campbell, D. T., & Stanley, J. C. (1969). Experimental and
quasi-experimental designs for research. Chicago: Rand McNally.
Carolan, R. (2001). Models and paradigms of art therapy
research. Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy
Association, 18(4), 190-206.
Chapman, L, Morabito, D., Ladakakos, C., Schreier, H., &
Knudson, M. M. (2001). The effectiveness of art therapy inter-
ventions in reducing post traumatic stress (PTSD) symptoms
in pediatric trauma patients. Art Therapy: Journal of the
American Art Therapy Association, 18(2), 100-104.
Colwell, C. M., Davis, K., & Schroeder, L. K. (2005). The effect
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Cook, T. D., & Campbell, D. T. (1979). Quasi-experimentation:
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Appendix List of 60 Art Prints Used in Group View Test
Artist Painting
1. Toulouse-Lautrec The Salon in the Rue
Des Moulins
2. Toulouse-Lautrec Yvette Gilbert
3. Caravaggio The Supper at Emmaus
4. Peter Bruegel, The Parable of the
the elder Blind Men
5. Jacob Isaackszon The Jewish Cemetery
Van Ruisdael
6. Rubens The Garden of Love
7. Rembrandt Van Rijn The Bridal Couple
(the Jewish Bride)
8. Rembrandt Van Rijn Jacob Blessing the Sons
of Joseph
9. Nicolas Poussin The Rape of the Sabine
10. Georges De La Tour The Adoration of the
11. William Hogarth Marriage à la Mode:
the Marriage Contract
12. Jean Honore Fragonard The Bathers
13. Bingham Fur Traders Descending
the Missouri
14. John Constable Salisbury Cathedral
15. Cézanne The Bathers
16. Caspar D. Friedrich Polar Ice (the Frozen Sea)
17. Holbein, the Younger Henry VIII
18. Rouault Head of Christ
19. Caravaggio The Conversion of
Saint Paul
20. Caravaggio Adolescent Bacchus
21. Caravaggio The Death of the Virgin
22. Caravaggio The Martyrdom of
St. Peter
23. Rubens The Descent from
the Cross
24. Rubens The Rape of the
Daughters of Leucippus
25. Frans Hals Women with Parrot:
Malle Babbe
26. Frans Hals The Merry Drinker
27. Vermeer Young Woman with
a Water Jug
28. Vermeer The Milkmaid
29. Vermeer A Girl in Yellow and Blue
Artist Painting
30. Vermeer The Lace Maker
31. Rembrandt Van Rijn Self Portrait at the Age
of 34
32. Vermeer The Girl with a Red Hat
33. Rembrandt Van Rijn Portrait of Rembrandt’s
34. Rembrandt Van Rijn Self-Portrait with Saskia
35. Rembrandt Van Rijn Descent from the Cross
36. Rembrandt Van Rijn Supper at Emmaus
37. Georges De La Tour The Repentant Magdalen
38. Jacques Louis David Napoleon in his Study
39. Toulouse-Lautrec La Goulue at the
Moulin Rouge
40. Degas L’Absinthe
41. Raffaello Santi/ The Virgin and Child with
Raphael Saint John the Baptist
42. Hieronymus Bosch Death and the Miser
43. Pieter Bruegel Peasant Dance
the Elder
44. Pieter Bruegel A Peasant Wedding
the Elder
45. Albrecht Dürer Apocalypse: The Riders on
the Four Horses
46. Albrecht Dürer St. Jerome in his Cell
47. Grünewald The Resurrection
48. Albrecht Dürer Self-Portrait 1500
49. Titian Bacchanal
50. Grünewald Isenheim Altarpiece: The
Joys of the Virgin
51. Giorgione Sleeping Venus
52. Hieronymus Bosch Christ Carrying the Cross
53. Jean-François Millet The Sower
54. Monet Women in the Garden
55. Georges Del La Tour Joseph the Carpenter and
Young Christ
56. Rembrandt Van Rijn A Woman Bathing
57. Degas Two Laundresses Ironing/
The Pressers
58. Monet Water Lilies with Bridge
at Giverny
59. Géricault Portrait of a Madman
(Assassin of Kleptomaniac)
60. Ingres The Turkish Bath
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... Jika lebih dispesifikan dari sisi karakteristik partisipan usia dewasa dan menggunakan alat ukur Spielberger's State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), nilai effect size terbesar adalah penelitian oleh Bell & Robbins (2007) dan terkecil adalah penelitian Duong, Stargell, & Mauk (2018). Perbedaan dari kedua penelitian ini hanya terletak pada metode art therapy yang digunakan. ...
... Perbedaan dari kedua penelitian ini hanya terletak pada metode art therapy yang digunakan. Pada penelitian Bell & Robbins (2007) metode yang digunakan adalah melakukan kegiatan produksi karya seni menggunakan warna dan kertas kosong, sedangkan penelitian oleh Duong, Stargell, & Mauk (2018) menggunakan metode kegiatan mewarnai mandala. ...
... Dari perbedaan hasil effect size pada penelitian oleh Bell & Robbins (2007) dibandingkan dengan penelitian Duong, Stargell, & Mauk (2018), dapat dikatakan terjadi akibat perbedaan metode dari art therapy yang digunakan. Liebman (2004) menyebutkan berbagai kagiatan seni yang dapat dilakukan dalam proses terapi seperti misalnya menggambar, mewarnai, melukis, membentuk, musik, dance, dan berbagai jenis kegiatan membuat benda-benda seni lainnya. ...
Full-text available
Penelitian ini dilakukan untuk mengetahui efektivitas art therapy dalam upaya menurunkan tingkat kecemasan. Penelitian ini adalah studi meta-analisis melalui reviu literatur yang melibatkan 13 jurnal internasional yang sesuai dengan variabel penelitian. Adapun jumlah total partisipan dari seluruh jurnal yang digunakan adalah 596 orang. Kegiatan art therapy yang dilakukan dalam proses intervensinya adalah art-making (seperti melukis, mewarnai, menggambar, dan membentuk clay). Berdasarkan pengolahan data Mean, Standard deviation, dan jumlah sampel yang digunakan, diperoleh nilai effect size cohen’s d sebesar 0,570 (95% CI = -1,022 sampai -0,117) dengan I² (inconsistency) = 83,4% (95% CI = 72,3% sampai 88,8%). Hasil pengolahan data juga menunjukkan bahwa tidak terdapat bias publikasi dalam penelitian. Dari nilai effect size cohen’s d tersebut, dapat dikatakan bahwa efek dari pemberian art therapy kurang efektif dalam menurunkan tingkat kecemasan yang dimiliki oleh individu.
... Other empirical studies have focused more specifically on the effect of art making on anxiety reduction (Bell & Robbins, 2007;Kimport & Hartzell, 2015). Kimport and Hartzell (2015) studied the effect of creating clay pinch pots on psychiatric in-patient's anxiety levels with pre-and post-test in a single intervention. ...
... In their research, participants could use two different clay materials to form pinch pots, and they found a statistically significant reduction of anxiety after clay forming regardless of the quality of the clay. Bell and Robbins (2007) instead compared in their RCT the effect of active art making to the effect of sorting and grouping of prints of famous paintings on healthy adult participants. They used non-directive drawing with a choice of crayons, coloured pencils, charcoal pencils, or oil pastels as the active art making condition. ...
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Experimental research on the psychophysiological effects of different art materials and tasks is still scarce. This mixed methods research focused on physiological changes and emotional experiences in drawing and clay forming during the tasks of copying, creating novel designs and free improvisation within fast and slow timeframes. It combined an experimental setting and analysis of 29 participants’ physiology with a qualitative content analysis of 18 participants’ stimulated recall interviews. The main findings indicate that fast drawing was mentally the most relaxing. This physiological and qualitative evidence supports the therapeutic use of the fast scribbling tasks commonly used in the warm-up phase of art therapy. Furthermore, compared to drawing, clay forming demanded higher mental and physical effort in both timeframes. Interestingly, while physiology did not significantly differ between the tasks, the qualitative analysis revealed that nondirective clay forming stimulated participants’ creative ideation and evoked the most positive emotions. This supports the use of nondirective clay tasks to aid in reaching therapeutic goals. The qualitative results also shed light on the unique and contradictory nature of emotional processes that different art materials, tasks and timing can evoke, highlighting the importance of therapists’ skills to sensitively tailor matching interventions for different clients.
... Other healing qualities of this work include the increased internal organization that comes from focusing on formal art elements (line, shape, and pattern): perceiving order out of the chaos of emotions often flooding the therapy-seeking person. Perceptual work also aids in the clarification of relations between parts of a problem, the development of relational diversity, or the ability to take another person's perspective, and the reduction of stress through the focus on formal art elements (Babouchkina & Robbins, 2015;Bell & Robbins, 2007;Curry & Kasser, 2005;Drake, Coleman, & Winner, 2011). ...
... Form gives structure to or can contain emotion as is seen when stress and anxiety are reduced by coloring mandalas (Babouchkina & Robbins, 2015;Bell & Robbins, 2007;Curry & Kasser, 2005;Drake et al., 2011). Alternatively, involvement with affect causes form to become less important in the finished image; art can be used as a splurge of emotion. ...
... Since each SA project has its own specific social agenda, each draws on a theory that pertains to its particular epistemology, location and target population (40,42). Generally, creative arts therapies research tends to explore the psycho-biological impact of arts on the socially decontextualized individual, rather than the social perspectives of societal impact (28,29,43). Similarly, the evaluation of fine arts projects, by definition, does not focus on measuring their social impact, but rather on the innovation and esthetic impact of the end product (36)(37)(38). ...
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Introduction Mounting empirical evidence underscores the health benefits of the arts, as recently reported in a scoping review by the World Health Organization. The creative arts in particular are acknowledged to be a public health resource that can be beneficial for well-being and health. Within this broad context, and as a subfield of participatory arts, the term social arts (SA) specifically refers to an art made by socially engaged professionals (e.g., artists, creative arts therapists, social workers, etc.) with non-professionals who determine together the content and the final art product (in theater, visual arts, music, literature, etc.) with the aim to produce meaningful social changes. SA can enhance individual, community, and public health in times of sociopolitical instability and is an active field in Israel. However, SA is still an under-investigated field of study worldwide that is hard to characterize, typify, or evaluate. This paper presents a research protocol designed to examine a tripartite empirically-based model of SA that will cover a wide range of SA training programs, implementations, and impacts. The findings will help refine the definition of SA and inform practitioners, trainers, and researchers, as well as funding bodies and policymakers, on the content and impact of SA projects in Israel and beyond. Methods and analysis This 3-stage mixed methods study will be based on the collection of primary qualitative and arts-based data and secondary, complementary, quantitative data. Triangulation and member checking procedures will be conducted to strengthen the trustworthiness of the findings obtained from different stakeholders. Discussion Growing interest in the contribution of arts to individual and public health underscores the importance of creating an empirically grounded model for SA. The study was approved by the university ethics committee and is supported by the Israel Science Foundation. All participants will sign an informed consent form and will be guaranteed confidentiality and anonymity. Data collection will be conducted in the next 2 years (2022 to 2024). After data analysis, the findings will be disseminated via publications and conferences.
... For example, Saunders and Saunders (2000) reported that adolescents with problematic behaviors demonstrated significant improvements. Even simple art production can reduce the participant's negative mood and anxiety (Bell and Robbins, 2007), suggesting that the application of HFD in the college settings could therefore also play a "treatment" role. ...
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Objective Depression is one of the most prevalent mental disorder in college students. The traditional screening method for is psychological measurements or scales, but social desirability can cause students to mask their thoughts, and an auxiliary projective test may be needed. This study was designed to measure the validity of applying human figure drawing (HFD) test as an auxiliary tool for depression screening in this population. Methods The HFD test was administered to 113 clinical participants diagnosed with major depressive disorder and 97 healthy college students with self-rating depression scale scores <50. Correlation analysis, chi-square tests, and logistic regression were conducted to identify specific drawing features that associated with depression and could differentiate between the clinical and control subjects. ROC curve was also implemented to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy. Results Eleven drawing features were significantly related to depression based on the chi-square test results and seven drawing features were associated with depression based on correlation analysis. After logistic regression by controlling gender and age, three drawing features were associated with depression: shaded eyes, drawing clothes in detail, and drawing other personal belongings. Further, drawing clothes in detail and drawing other personal belongings were two significant variables in ROC curve analysis. Conclusion Logistic regression showed that shaded eyes, drawing clothes in detail and drawing other personal belongings were significant drawing features. Individuals with depression will have less energy to put extra effort into drawing and are less likely to have detailed drawings. And the shading of eyes may represent that depressive individuals have a low willingness to communicate and tend to isolate themselves. The results indicated that Human Figure Drawing could be used as an auxiliary tool in college students’ depression screening. Further, the ROC curve analysis showed low discrimination of single drawing features, suggesting that the application of Human Figure Drawing should be considered as a whole instead of focusing on the single drawing feature.
... In Turkey, child and adolescent psychiatric clinics combine pharmacological treatment with various complementary treatment approaches, which include playing musical instruments and local games as well as drawing. Although calligraphy reportedly has a positive effect on individuals, no empirical study conducted in Turkey has supported this claim (Beebe et al., 2010;Bell & Robbins, 2007;Favara-Scacco et al., 2001;Kim, 2005;Rahmani & Moheb, 2010;Sandmire et al., 2012). Therefore, this research was conducted to determine the effect of calligraphy on the anxiety and depression levels of adolescent psychiatric patients. ...
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This research was conducted to determine the effect of calligraphy on the anxiety and depression levels of adolescent psychiatric patients. It was conducted with adolescent psychiatric patients ages 14–17 in Turkey’s Eastern Anatolia Region. They were allocated a calligraphy (n = 40) or a wait-list (n = 39) group. Those in the calligraphy group participated in 60-min calligraphy sessions for three weeks. The state anxiety levels of adolescents who applied calligraphy decreased gradually when compared with adolescents in the control group. The difference between the third-week mean post-test state anxiety scores of the adolescents in the calligraphy and control groups was significant (t = 2.34, p = .02). The trait anxiety scale and depression scale mean post-test scores of the adolescents in the calligraphy group were lower than in the control group. The difference between two groups was significant. Calligraphy can be potentially used as a beneficial method for reducing anxiety and depression.
... A művészeti tevékenységek pozitív pszichológiai hatását számos művészetterápiás kutatás igazolta (Bell és Robbins, 2007;Forgeard és Eichner, 2014;Darewych és Bowers, 2018 stb.). Beauregard (2014) kutatása alapján az olyan osztálytermi kreatív tevékenységek, mint a tánc, dráma és a vizuális művészetek, szintén hozzájárulnak a gyerekek mentális egészségéhez. ...
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A nemzetközi kutatások elterjedt témája a kreativitás fejlesztése, amelyet a hazai oktatáspolitika is hangsúlyoz. Ennek mibenlétéről, gyakorlati megvalósításáról viszont már kevesebb szó esik, ezért jelen tanulmány célja a kreativitást középpontba állító oktatási koncepciók ismertetése, vagyis a kreatív pedagógiai irányzatok bemutatása a feltárt szakirodalom alapján. Ennek nyomán a kreatív pedagógia fogalmát a következő módon javaslom bevezetni a hazai szakmai diskurzusba: a kreatív pedagógia azt a tanítási-tanulási folyamatot jelenti, amely a személyiségben rejlő kreatív potenciál kibontakozását szolgálja, ám ugyanakkor a sikeres tudáselsajátítást is támogatja. A tanulmány további részében a kreativitás fejlesztésének szemléleti hátterét, oktatáspolitikai meghatározottságát és a fejlődést befolyásoló tanári nézeteket vizsgálom, valamint kitérek a megfelelő tanulási környezetre, a kreatív iskola, osztályterem és klíma fogalmak mentén. Külön pontban veszem sorra az inkluzív nevelés és a kreativitás témájához kapcsolódó kutatásokat, amelyek léte azt bizonyítja, hogy a kreatív fejlesztésnek nemcsak a tehetséggondozásban van létjogosultsága, hanem a hátránykompenzációban, a tanulási nehézségek csökkentésében és az eltérő fejlődésű gyermekek nevelésében is. Végül rátérek a kreatív pedagógiai módszerek és eszközök alkalmazásának lehetőségeire, amely alkalmazás alapvető feltétele a kreativitás tartalomba ágyazott fejlesztésének. Az adott tantárgyhoz, tudományterülethez kapcsolódó kreatív tanítási-tanulási tevékenységeket a kreatív tantárgypedagógiák fogják össze – ezek kidolgozása a jövő feladata. Az idegennyelv-tanításban viszont már most számos jó példát találunk ilyenekre, s hozzájuk nemzetközi kutatások és módszertani ajánlások kapcsolódnak. A tanulmányt ezek ismertetésével zárom.
This randomized controlled study examined the effects of creating open circle mandalas with divergent instruction type (distraction and reflection) and medium type (resistive and fluid) on state anxiety, mood, and mindfulness. The design followed a 2 (instruction type) × 2 (medium type) × 3 (time) mixed experimental design. Reflective writing tasks were analyzed for linguistic expression. Results indicated anxiety reduction and improved mood across all conditions as evidenced by explicit assessment. Implicit assessments determined enhanced mindfulness for reflection instruction type and fluid medium type. Practical connections to the Expressive Therapies Continuum (Lusebrink, 1990 Lusebrink, V. B. (1990). Imagery and visual expression in therapy. Plenum Press.[Crossref] , [Google Scholar]) and Media Dimensions Variable (Kagin & Lusebrink, 1978 Kagin, S. L., & Lusebrink, V. B. (1978). The expressive therapies continuum. Art Psychotherapy, 5(4), 171–180.[Crossref], [Web of Science ®] , [Google Scholar]) frameworks are discussed.
Background: Children hospitalized for cancer treatment are known to experience high levels of anxiety. This study aimed to examine the effects of making jewelry from beads on the state and trait anxiety levels of children with cancer. Methods: This parallel group, randomized controlled trial was conducted on 62 children aged 7–18 who were being treated for cancer. The children were selected using the random sampling method. The jewelry-making sessions with the children in the intervention group were held twice a week for four weeks. Data were analysed using the chi-square test, the Student's t-test, the independent samples t-test and linear regression. Results: The state anxiety levels of the children in the intervention group decreased both in the first week and the fourth week after making jewelry. The difference in the average post-test scores between the two groups was found to be significant ( p < .05). The fourth week average trait anxiety score of the children in the intervention group decreased ( M = 33.2) in comparison to the average score of the control group ( M = 36.5). The difference between the two groups was found to be significant ( p < .001). Discussion: This study found that the activity of making jewelry from beads was effective in reducing the state and trait anxiety levels of children with cancer.
Research has shown that traumatic stress has negative effects on overall health and well-being. Traumatic exposure has been linked to higher rates of psychological and physical health problems. Writing about trauma or stress has been shown to improve health and reduce stress, but can negatively affect mood. The purpose of this study was to examine whether art therapy is as effective as writing therapy in improving psychological and health outcomes. Participants in the writing condition, but not the art therapy condition, showed a decrease in social dysfunction. However, participants who completed artwork reported more enjoyment, were more likely to continue with the study, and were more likely to recommend the study to family and friends. Future research could combine writing and art therapy to determine whether a mixed design would both improve health and maximize participant retention.
Although post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in children has been extensively studied during the past 15 years, little research exists regarding the efficacy of treatment interventions. This report describes an outcome-based art therapy research project currently conducted at a large urban hospital trauma center. Included are the theoretical rationale and overview of an art therapy treatment intervention called the Chapman Art Therapy Treatment Intervention (CATTI) designed to reduce PTSD symptoms in pediatric trauma patients. Used in this study, the CATTI was evaluated for efficacy in measuring the reduction of PTSD symptoms at intervals of 1 week, 1 month, and 6 months after discharge from the hospital. An early analysis of the data does not indicate statistically significant differences in the reduction of PTSD symptoms between the experimental and control groups. However, there is evidence that the children receiving the art therapy intervention did show a reduction in acute stress symptoms.