Thesis Title

Exploration of Well-Being Through Art Media Preference and Emotion Regulation Strategies

Graduation Date

Fall 2016

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy

Degree Granting Institution

Notre Dame de Namur University

Program Name

Art Therapy


Caryl Hodges, EdD

First Reader

Jennifer Harrison, PsyD, ATR-BC, DAAETS

Second Reader

Jo Wallace, PhD, MFT, ATR-BC


The study examined the relationship between are media preference (resistive, fluid, technological based and other expressive arts mediums), four emotion regulations strategies (reappraisal, distraction, venting and suppression), mental health variables (emotional wellbeing, psychological well-being and social well-being), and mental illness variables (depression, anxiety, and stress). The purposed of this study was to explore the optimal level of functioning that might enhance the well-being and in essence foster positive mental health. This study utilized multivariate regression analysis to assess the mental health and mental illness level through art media preference and emotion regulation strategies. Three different scales (MHCSF, DASS-21, ERQ) and two different questionnaires were utilized to conduct this research. Findings indicated that well-being was significantly more positive for individuals who indicated combination of art media preference versus individuals who indicated only one art media preference. In addition, positive correlation of well-being with reappraisal and venting was discovered, and negative correlation of well-being with distraction and suppression was revealed. According to this study, combination of art media preference was found to be a more effective way to enhance well-being in accordance with reappraisal and venting. Distraction and suppression, in correlation with art media preference, indicated detrimental impact on wellbeing.