Thesis Title

The Effects of Art Therapy on The Self Esteem of Young Adolescents

Graduation Date

Fall 1987

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


Three same-sex groups of middle school seventh graders with the average age of thirteen were formed within a time frame of from two to seven months, for the purpose of raising the self-esteem of each individual within the group. A quasi-experiment utilizing the group counseling mileu attempted to accomplish this objective. Each of the eleven group participants was assessed within the two to seven month time frame through the implementation of three instrumental tools: 1) The Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory, 2) Buck's House-Tree-Person projective drawing test, and 3) A teacher questionnaire measuring the extent of movement of each one of the participants.

Each of the three assessments attempted to measure a high and a low scorer of self-esteem determined by the criteria pertinent to the test. Results indicated that all but one of the students had improved during the study. Each test identified one high and one low self-esteem scorer. These were different individuals on all three tests. Identifying six people out of the eleven counselor referred students is indicative of the need for more testing. While the subjective data are not quantitatively significant, they appear to be socially significant.