Effects of Art Therapy on Identity and Self-Esteem in Youths in the Foster Care System

Thumbnail Image
Gutierrez, Chelsey
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
Adolescents in the foster care system face severe challenges such as repeated trauma, loss of attachment, low self-esteem, and identity confusion. While art therapy and group work have been shown to be ideal treatment options for adolescents, to date there is a limited amount of research in art therapy literature regarding adolescent group art therapy within the foster care system. Working with local social workers, the researcher invited teens between the ages of 13 and 17 to participate in a pilot research study focused on self-esteem and self-identity. Participants were selected based on interest and availability. Participants completed self-report surveys pre- and post-study, which were compared to determine the effects of art therapy on the participant’s view of self. This researcher expected that exploring self-identity through art and participating in group process would improve self-esteem as evidenced by the self-report surveys