Viewing the AIDS Memorial Quilt: A Study on Empathic Attitudes and Behaviors, Social Advocacy and Art Therapy
Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy
Degree Granting Institution
Notre Dame de Namur University
John Lemmon, PhD
Jennifer Harrison, PsyD, DAAETS, ATR-BC
Richard Carolan, EdD, ATR-BC
The objective of this research study is to understand the impact of viewing The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt on the empathic attitudes and behaviors and motivation for social advocacy towards people living with AIDS. 41 participants independently viewed a 12 feet by 12 feet block of The Quilt displayed in Gellert Library at Notre Dame de Namur. Participants completed surveys, created a piece of response art and responded to reflection questions about the viewing experience. Results of the study found a statistically significant increase in participants’ attitudes and behaviors and motivation for social advocacy towards people living with AIDS after viewing I he Quilt and creating response art. Qualitative interpretive phenomenological analysis of participants’ reflection questions reported themes such as self, death. AIDS knowledge/awareness, remembrance/memorial, empathy and aesthetics. Analysis of participants' response art revealed thematic imagery including graphic empathy, hearts, rainbows, relationships, nature, animals and red ribbons. Results from this study may be helpful for art therapist clinicians working with individuals or communities affected by AIDS-related issues.
Olson, Jeannie Star, "Viewing the AIDS Memorial Quilt: A Study on Empathic Attitudes and Behaviors, Social Advocacy and Art Therapy" (2015). Art Therapy | Master's Theses in Print. 288.