Clinical Use of Graffiti with Adjudicated Adolescents

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Mathews, Jessica
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
Graffiti is seen in the eyes of the general public, as illegal and/or an antisocial behavior. Often the benefits of graffiti as well as it’s potential to be utilized as an expressive arts form, a means of communication, as a way of working out or working on situations or conflicts, is not seen or understood. Art therapy and the use of graffiti can be beneficial to the resistant population of adolescents, and even more so with adjudicated adolescents. The use of art therapy alone can be seen as an effective treatment. This study uses phenomenological inquiry, utilizing interviews, observations and art making to address the question, will graffiti as an art modality help to increase and re-establish the identity of adjudicated adolescents? The data obtained will help to support the use of graffiti with adjudicated adolescents and to provide evidence that supports the hypothesis; the use of graffiti as an art therapy modality and intervention, will help to increase and re-establish adjudicated adolescents identity.