Improving Self-Esteem in Children from Violent Homes: An Art-Based Psycho-Educational Approach

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Hansen, Kathryn
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
This pilot research study measured the effect of an art-based psycho-educational group approach in increasing the self-esteem of children who have experienced domestic violence. This population typically suffers from low self-esteem due to a distortion of self-image and little to no understanding on the child’s part of his or her strengths or positive qualities (Malchiodi, 1997). Promoting positive self-esteem is necessary in order to mobilize resources for coping and serve as a protective factor against symptoms such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. The art-based psycho-educational approach is a way to impart coping skills in a safe, consistent environment through the psycho-educational material and the art-making process. The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (1965) was administered pre and post study in order to measure any gains in selfesteem among the participants. As anticipated, the results show an increase in selfesteem after completion of the group.