Graduation Date

Spring 2022

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Project Type

Mixed Methods

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy


Art Therapy

Program Director

Amy Backos, Psychologist, PhD, ATR-BC

First Reader

Erin Partridge, PhD, ATR-BC

Second Reader

Annalinda Harbottle


While previous studies identify doodling as a useful educational tool, this study sought to determine if doodling can build creative or emotional self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is an individual’s belief in their own capacity to express behaviors necessary to attain specific performance goals. The current study also sought to determine if doodling can be a form of self-care. Research collected was quantitative and qualitative using surveys to measure both creative and emotional self-efficacy along with a doodling activity. Ten participants were recruited through convenience sampling on social media and were included in the study after meeting the inclusion criteria of identifying themselves as a normally functioning adult. Individual times spent on doodling ranged from thirty minutes to three hours. The study took place during the Covid-19 pandemic which impacted the ability to recruit volunteer participants. The researcher collected data from the Emotional Self-Efficacy Scale (ESES) and Creative Self-Efficacy Scale (CSES). The results from this study support the use of doodling in art therapy as well as its effect on an individual’s self-expression and self-efficacy. The research also explores the use of doodling as a form of self-care. Recommendations for future research include expanding the population size and variety, as well as having a facilitator present to guide and witness the process.

IRB Number