Thesis Title

Cultural Wellness Trends Assessed with Art Therapy

Graduation Date

Fall 2019

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

Amy Backos, PhD, ATR-BC

Second Reader

Claudia Mezzera, PhD, MFT, ATR


There is a lack of research that exists regarding the relationship of culture and well-being. The hypothesis inquired whether or not there are trends in the way that individuals of different cultural demographic backgrounds identify with wellness in regard to definitions, goals, pursuits, limitations, and symbolism of wellness. The purpose of this study was to contribute to cultural awareness surrounding these two topics together. Data was collected through use of surveys, and art making by collage. These results were examined and compared using grounded theory with positive psychology, and art therapy. The researcher’s hypothesis was partially supported. Results suggested there were identifiable trends within different demographic categories, however no conclusive statements could be made for any certain cultural demographic category due to a lack of participants. This study explored the relationship between culture and wellness and can be used to help further research surrounding these two topics together.