Thesis Title

The Masks of Mexico: Mexican-American's Relationship With Their Cultural Heritage and Self-Concepts

Graduation Date

Fall 2004

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy

Degree Granting Institution

Notre Dame de Namur University

Program Name

Art Therapy


Lizbeth Martin, PhD

First Reader

Richard Carolan, EdD, ATR-BC

Second Reader

Gwen Sanders, MFT, ART-BC


The tradition of making and using masks dates back hundreds of years in Mexican culture. The significance of masks in ancient rituals and traditions is not only an important story telling tool but a symbol for Hispanic cultural pride. This study examines the effects of mask making on not only cultural awareness but self concepts. This was measured thru a pretest and posttest. The study was conducted at a public elementary school in Northern California, with a sample of fifth graders ranging from ages 10 thru 11. The results indicate that there was a correlation between cultural attitude and self concept. There was no significant change in cultural attitude or self concept as a result of the treatment.