Thesis Title

Using art therapy to increase reading motivation in below grade-level readers

Graduation Date

Spring 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

Amy Backos, PhD, ATR-BC

Second Reader

Vicki Bynum, MFT, ATR, MA, Ed


Reading literacy in the twenty-first century has become a national problem, as many children’s reading proficiencies are below-grade level. This quasi-experimental research quantitatively measured the correlation between art therapy and reading level improvement for below-grade level K-5 elementary school students. The measurement tools were the Motivation to Read Profile (MRP) and the interactive reading assessment tool, Results showed a strong correlation between art therapy and reading level improvement, with the MRP yielding mixed results. This preliminary research used a small sample size and was conducted over a relatively short period of time; however, this points to the need for further study to establish the correlation between art therapy and reading level improvement. Keywords: art therapy, reading level improvement, motivation to read, Adlerian theory