The impact of art therapy on decreasing stress and improving coping skills in child ren with emotional disturbances

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Boatwright, Jashley
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
Children diagnosed as emotionally disturbed were considered the most underserved in the special education population. Children with emotional disturbances displayed long-term deficits academically, socially, and behaviorally with higher propensities of unemployment and incarceration as well as academic, financial, and relational troubles. Emotionally disturbed children lacked coping skills and resources available to decrease stress. This mixed methods study employed the use of the art therapy directives focused on reducing stress through improved coping skills. The outcome of this study was assessed utilizing the projective drawing assessment of the Draw -a-Person -in-the-Rain, and pre-and post-assessments (the Children’s Coping Strategies Checklist, and the Perceived Stress Scale). The data from this limited study indicated that art therapy helped to increase coping skills and reduced stress. Further research was recommended.