Art therapy is used for a variety of clients ranging from PTSD, Cancer, trauma, and even stress. Although a rising field, art therapy lacks in research. This study focuses on stress, a negative experience due to work, relationships, school, or health. A French physiologist, Claude Bernard, had explained that the body is constantly working to keep a well-balanced internal environment (Robinson, 2018). Stress does just the opposite and causes an imbalance. This study examines the relationship between stress and drawing as well as content drawn by participants in one of two prompts. Therefore, by evaluating the effectiveness of art therapy through the relationship of College of Wooster students stress levels and controlled/non-controlled drawing, research can show whether art therapy does have the effect this study is looking for in reducing stress levels. Results conclude that induced stress, also known as the pretest, does decrease with drawing task. This study also shows that color and materials used did not have a significant difference on condition groups. More space was used for condition 2 (PTL) than condition 1 (DAP). Gender did not have a significant difference on color, space, or materials used. My study affirmed that mental arithmetic induced stress while art therapy influenced stress reduction.


Clayton, Susan




art therapy, stress level, drawing, color, space, materials, mental arithmetic

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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