Thesis Title

An Exploration of the Soothing Affects of the Mandala on an Adolescent Population

Graduation Date

Fall 1994

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


The purpose of the study was to test the hypothesis that drawings in Art Therapy, specifically creating mandate (circular images) can be soothing and relaxing versus drawing in squares which may create agitation and anxiety. Subjects were adolescents residing in a psychiatric residential treatment center. Anxiety, or agitation was measured by calculating the number of angular lines in each of the square and circular images. Angular lines have been found by researchers to be an indicator of anxiety, agitation or anger. The test was given to two groups; each group had a control and an experimental group. The control group received a square guide to trace on a piece of paper. The experimental group received a circular (mandala) shaped guide to trace on paper. Each group was told to then draw whatever they wished on the paper.

A T-Test was used to measure the results. Scores were combined and statistical results indicated that the frequency of angles in circles (mandalas) for significance of 95 percent confidence for t 0.5 were 1.6< u < 5.9 and 2.62< u