Graduation Date


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Project Type

Mixed Methods

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy


Art Therapy

Program Director

Richard Carolan, PhD, ATR-BC

First Reader

Erin Partridge, PhD, ATR-BC

Second Reader

Cheryl Feldman


This current study desired to illuminate the connection between social media and body image, as well as determining if art therapy interventions may impact a woman’s self-esteem. An individual’s body-image and self-esteem are very much correlated, as both concepts directly influence one another. Fourteen participants were recruited through social media after meeting the qualifications: being eighteen years old and/or older, identifying as a woman, and being active on social media. A mixed-methods research design was utilized for this research using both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Qualitative data was obtained through semi structured interviews, participant’s artwork, and reflections on their art. Art-based data was focused on the art assessment of self-portraits and on the art therapy intervention of found poetry with positive affirmations. Quantitative data was obtained through two questionnaires: Self Esteem Scale and the Social Media Appearance Preoccupation Scale. The results from this study illuminate the strong connection between social media and body-image, as well as the impact that art therapy interventions have on self-esteem. Recommendations for future research include broadening the population size, as well as expanding the age range of participants.

IRB Number