Reduction of Cortisol Levels and Participants' Responses Following Art Making
07 April 2019
This article by Girija Kaimal, Kendra Ray & Juan Muniz investigates the impact of visual art making on the cortisol levels of 39 healthy adults...
This quasi-experimental study investigated the impact of visual art making on the cortisol levels of 39 healthy adults. Participants provided saliva samples to assess cortisol levels before and after 45 minutes of art making.
Participants also provided written responses about the experience at the end of the session. Results indicate that art making resulted in statistically significant lowering of cortisol levels. Participants' written responses indicated that they found the art-making session to be relaxing, enjoyable, helpful for learning about new aspects of self, freeing from constraints, an evolving process of initial struggle to later resolution, and about flow/losing themselves in the work.
They also reflected that the session evoked a desire to make art in the future. There were weak associations between changes in cortisol level and age, time of day, and participant responses related to learning about one's self and references to an evolving process in art making. There were no significant differences in outcomes based on prior experiences with art making, media choice, or gender.
This article by Girija Kaimal, Kendra Ray & Juan Muniz has been published online here
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Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association is published by Taylor & Francis