Thesis Title

Art Making To Reduce Stress in First-Generation and Second-Generation Hispanic Immigrant Parents

Graduation Date

Spring 2022

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Project Type

Mixed Methods

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy


Art Therapy

Program Director

Amy Backos, PhD, ATR-BC

First Reader

Erin Partridge, PhD, ATR-BC

Second Reader

Erin Partridge, PhD, ATR-BC


The present study consisted of 25 adult participants’ who reside in the United States. The participants self identified as first-or second-generation Latino immigrants in the United States. The participants participated in a one-time group session that comprised of a face-to-face art therapy session, which lasted about 45-60 minutes. Participants stress levels; acculturation and sense of well-being were measured. This study hypothesized that the use of art therapy in conjunction with DBT therapy, while focusing in the here and now, will reduce stress levels and improve one’s sense of well-being.

Demographic assessment, pretest and post-test, group reflections and artwork, were used for quantitative and qualitative analysis. Consistent with the hypothesis, group art therapy sessions were positively correlated with an improved sense of wellbeing and a decreased of stress levels in first-and second-generation Latino immigrant parents. The researcher suggests that not only is art therapy is culturally appropriate and congruent with the Latino population but it also helps in reducing stress and with the perceptions of wellbeing.

Keywords: First-generation, second-generation, acculturation, art therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, stress, a sense of well-being.

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