Thesis Title

Using Narrative Art Therapy to Explore Acculturative Stress Among First Generation Japanese Immigrant Women Married to U.S.-Born Spouses

Graduation Date

Fall 2014

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


Jonn Lemmon, PhD

First Reader

Jennifer Harrision, PhD, ATR-BC

Second Reader

Jennifer Coloma, PhD


The intent of this thesis gran, proposal is to secure funding for native art group therapy for the reduction of acculturative stress among Japanese immigrant women married to U.S.-born spouses. The proposed art therapy group will serve as an adjunct to psychological care of the targeted population by utilizing narrative approach art directives. The researcher hypothesized that narrative art therapy interventions will help individuals gain a sense of self-acceptance, by externalizing the issues and re-authoring their own life to find their coping strategies, which will guide them to successful integration within both U.S. and Japanese culture. Group art therapy can also play critical role in providing a rich environment to enhance a sense of emotional connectedness, often lacking in this population. This research will add to the literature illustrating how narrative art group therapy can reduce the acculturative stress among immigrant populations, as well as show how it can increase their coping skills and help increase their sense of self-acceptance. Those factors will be measured by the Multidimensional Acculturative Stress Inventory (MASI, adjusted for the Japanese population), the Unconditional Self-Acceptance Questionnaire (USAQ), the Abbreviated Multidimensional Acculturation Scale (AMAS-ZABB), as well as pre- and post- program questionnaires. Although this proposal is limited to a specific population, the positive outcome of this research will lead to the development of effective treatment methods in reducing acculturative stress among any future immigrant population and their families