The Use of Digital and Traditional Art-Making to Decrease a Negative Mood and Pulse Rate in Children

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Principal Investigator: Baileigh Kirkpatrick (Ralph George Scholar)

Research Assistants: Morgan Truett

“Previous research has shown that art-making, specifically drawing, has a significant impact in relieving negative emotions (namely sadness). However, minimal research exists exploring alternative negative moods, such as anger, dependent measures other than self-report (which are susceptible to demand characteristics), and other mediums of art-making. This research examines the effects of traditional art-making (crayon and paper) versus digital art-making (on an iPad) in reducing a negative mood of anger in children, ages 5 to 8.

While art-making overall was shown to significantly decrease children’s self-report of anger, no significant time X art-making method interactions were found.  Despite lacking significant interactions, this is a novel methodology in that, 1) children were used as participants, 2) the negative emotion of anger was induced, 3) the efficacy of digital versus traditional art-making materials on negative emotion reduction was explored, and 4) a multi-method approach to measure anger was used by collecting self-reported mood (newly developed face scale) as well as pulse. We hope this research will serve as a catalyst for further study in this area.”

-Baileigh Kirkpatrick

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