FEATS scores of older adults using the PPAT assessment

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Master of Arts in Art Therapy
This study examined if the developmental changes that occur in the brain and the body from the regular aging process impacted the graphic features that can be observed in an artwork. To measure changes in graphic features, a traditional art therapy assessment, the “Person Picking an Apple from a Tree” (PPAT) assessment, was utilized because of the assessment’s quantitative scoring system known as the Formal Elements of Art Therapy Scale (FEATS). Two groups of 24 normative adults each, a total of 48 normative adults for the study, were asked to fill out a survey and create a PPAT drawing. The first group consisted of adults aged 18-55. The second group consisted of adults ages 70 and older. The FEATS scores derived from each group’s PPAT drawings were compared. Factors influencing each group’s FEATS scores such as education level, amount of exercise, and experience making art, were examined using linear regression. The information gleaned from this study will improve the validity and utility of the PPAT assessment and may improve therapy work with older adults when the use of artwork is considered. Keywords: Art therapy, PPAT, FEATS, Normative, Older adult, Development