Graduation Year


Document Type

Senior Thesis


Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Primary Major


Thesis Advisor

Lynn Noyce, RN, MSN, AGPCNP-BC


Background: First-generation immigrants in the United States confront significant mental health challenges rooted in cultural identity conflict. Specifically, these challenges are linked to elevated rates of anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as indicated by Lindert et al. (2009). Art therapy holds promise as an intervention for treating mental health and identity conflicts in a variety of populations. Yet, little is known about how art therapy can improve the experience of first-generation immigrants experiencing cultural identity conflicts.

Objective: This study aims to assess the effectiveness of art therapy in improving the mental health and cultural identity conflicts of first-generation immigrants in the United States, a departure from conventional therapeutic strategies.

Method: The mixed-method study will involve 20 first-generation immigrants aged 18 and above who self-identify as experiencing mental health issues linked to cultural identity conflicts. For two months, participants will be attending eight art therapy sessions. To assess mental health symptoms and cultural identity, participants will complete the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R) and the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure (MEIM). A survey will be conducted pre-intervention and post-intervention to measure the effectiveness of the art therapy. In the qualitative portion of this study, the participants will be interviewed to gather more insight about their experiences. We will use inferential statistics to calculate the p-value. If the p-value is under 0.05, the results are considered statistically significant and not due to chance.

Hypothesis: Art therapy can enhance the mental health of first-generation immigrants with cultural identity conflicts.