For college-attending emerging adults, college can be simultaneously the most rewarding and the most anxiety-provoking phase of their lives due to various academic, financial, emotional, and pandemic stressors. This experimental study explored whether art activities would decrease stress and anxiety in undergraduate students. Fifty undergraduate students completed three surveys that scored their stress and anxiety before and after completing a 20-minute art activity (coloring in a pre-designed mandala or working with clay). Results from a paired samples t-test suggest that a brief period of art making has a real stress and anxiety reducing effect compare pre-art-activity stress and anxiety and post-art-activity stress and anxiety. In addition, results from an independent t-test show there was no significant effect for art type, t(48) = -.400, p = .345, despite the clay group (M=34.22 SD=7.44) attaining a larger decrease in scores than the coloring group (M=36.91 SD=6.82). These findings suggest that the relaxing effect of art making is significant, in which art activities may benefit individuals suffering from stress and anxiety.


Hope, Meredith




Art Practice | Ceramic Arts | Counseling | Counseling Psychology | Experimental Analysis of Behavior | Health Psychology | Human Factors Psychology | Illustration | Sculpture

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis


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