Thesis Title

Keep calm and doodle on: A relationship between doodling and stress reduction

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


John Lemmon, PhD

First Reader

Jennifer Harrison, PsyD, ATR-BC, DAAETS

Second Reader

Stephen Partlow, PhD


The first hypothesis for this study was that stressful moments being experienced would correlate to an individual participating in the activity of doodling. The second hypothesis for this study was that the activity of doodling would have a correlational relationship with stress reduction. 76 individuals participated in this study and completed an online survey questionnaire. The survey questionnaire utilized a Likert scale to test for a correlational relationship between stress and doodling as well as between doodling and stress reduction. Results did not indicate a statistically significant relationship between heightened levels of stress and the activity of doodling. Results indicated a statistically significant positive correlational relationship between doodling and stress reduction. The findings of this study may be helpful to art therapist, social workers, and educators working with individuals that experience heightened levels of stress.