Thesis Title

Utilizing group art therapy to develop Korean immigrant mothers' sense of self and the relationship with the children

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

Amy Backos, PhD, ATR-BC


This study hypothesized that group art therapy will increase Korean mothers’ sense of self and positively affect the relationship between the mother and child. The design sessions included an art intervention and group discussion about the art work. Ten immigrant Korean mothers completed two group sessions. The qualitative and quantitative data were analyzed from pre and post-test self-reported questionnaires as well as the group discussions. The results of this study supported the hypothesis that group art therapy improved participants’ sense of self and positive influences between the mother and child relationship. Additionally, the research found that Korean culture might be strongly affect participants’ sense of self and communication skills. The outcomes may be potential resources for understanding East Asian and Korean culture, which share Confucianism, the family dynamic, parenting, and developing individual’s sense of self, as well as, individual’s mental health.