Thesis Title

Examining student athlete attitudes towards art therapy

Graduation Date

Fall 2015

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

Dean

John Lemmon, PhD

First Reader

Jennifer Harrison, PsyD, ATR-BC, DAAETS

Second Reader

Nicole Annaloro, MFT

Abstract

College student athletes, as an underserved clinical population with documented barriers and stigma attached to seeking mental health treatment, might present as a suitable group to expose to art therapy as a treatment modality. To gauge interest in art therapy, this student researcher recruited student athletes in college at a private university to take a survey examining attitudes towards art therapy, stigma from their social group and barriers to seeking mental health treatment. This student researcher hypothesized (1) student athletes will show positive attitudes towards art therapy, (2) those with more art therapy exposure will have higher positive feelings towards art therapy, (3) student athletes experience stigmatization by others for seeking help, and (4) student athletes consider a lack of time their biggest barrier to seeking help. The data showed initial positive support for further exploration of art therapy as a treatment modality in working with student athletes, but found conflicting and similar results to previous studies in the literature concerning stigma and barriers to seeking mental health treatment in student athletes.

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