Exploring the Impact of Art-Making on Mood: Painting as Mood Booster for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
Riley Thomas, HON 400: All College Honors Colloquium
Faculty Mentor: Professor Rachel Sikorski, Art and Design
Creating art appears to impact the mood of individuals with developmental disabilities. The goal for this research project was to see if this impact has a positive or negative effect on the mood. Participants include both men and women, whose ages range from 18-73 years old, with varying degrees of impairment associated with a developmental disability. For example, some are verbal and some are nonverbal. Each individual was given their own set of acrylic paint, along with a variety of paintbrushes and paper, to complete an art activity on their own in thirty minutes in any way they saw fit. Using a picture scale with faces that depict various emotions--happy, sad, angry, excited, neutral, and confused—each individual was asked how they felt before the activity, during the activity (15 minutes), and after the activity was completed. The responses to the picture scale determine if and how the individual’s mood may have been impacted by the art activity. The results may not be consistent, since each individual has their own wants and needs; and what may be a positive experience for one might be neutral or negative for another. For the men and women who do find this painting activity as a mood booster, hopefully they may be able to incorporate this creative activity into their lives as a coping resource when needed.
Arts and Humanities
Riley, Thomas, "Exploring the Impact of Art-Making on Mood: Painting as Mood Booster for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities" (2020). Arts. 22nd Annual Student Research and Creativity Conference. SUNY Buffalo State.