Art Therapy in Schools: Adolescent Stress Reduction

Thumbnail Image
Land, Kami
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
Levels of sustained stress can be detrimental to the mental health of adolescents without proper coping resources. The review of literature presents an overview of public vs. private education, the physical, cognitive, and social development of adolescence, possible sources of stress, likely benefits of art therapy for this population and examples of school-based art therapy programs. This mixed methods study investigated the perceived stress levels and coping resources of students in a private high school. It was hypothesized that students in a private, parochial school were experiencing high levels of stress, had inadequate coping resources and an experience with art therapy could reduce their perceived levels of stress. The voluntary sample consisted of 15 students who completed a Perceived Stress questionnaire, three projective drawing assessments, and two Visual Analogue Scales in a group setting during a single session. The results indicate this population of adolescents experienced a moderate level of stress; however, their coping resources were either inadequate or inadequately utilized. Where little research has previously been obtained, this study adds to the literature of perceived stress levels of adolescents in the private sector and their coping resources. Further, this study adds support to the use of art therapy directives with this population to provide a mental health benefit of decreasing immediate of perceived stress