Effects of Coloring on Immediate Short-Term Stress Relief

Simmons, Courtney (2016) Effects of Coloring on Immediate Short-Term Stress Relief. Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of Carey Bernini Dowling from Psychology, University of Mississippi.

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Abstract

Although research has not yet examined adult coloring books specifically, research suggests that artmaking can reduce negative affect, improve mood, and reduce anxiety (Drake & Hodge, 2015; Pizarro, 2004) and that coloring, specifically, can reduce anxiety on a short-term basis (Curry & Kasser, 2005; van der Vennet & Serice, 2012). These short-term effects are seen more strongly when participants are using art as a form of distraction from their negative feelings rather than as a way to vent (Dalebroux et al., 2008; De Petrillo & Winner, 2005; Drake & Winner, 2012). The present study seeks to expand upon this knowledge by comparing the effects of coloring adult coloring pages, children's coloring pages, or completing a coloring-related distraction task on subjective accounts of negative and positive emotions. Data were analyzed for 274 participants aged 18-24 enrolled at the University of Mississippi (84.7% female, 82.12% Caucasian, 99.23% single). Upon analysis, all distraction tasks relieved stress on an immediate short-term basis, and there was a borderline significant result for the interaction between time period and group, in regards to the Subjective Units of Distress Scale (Wolpe, 1990), but no significant group differences for the Positive And Negative Affect Schedule (Watson, Clark, & Tellegen, 1988). Participants in the coloring conditions enjoyed their tasks significantly more than participants in the control distraction task, while experiencing about the same amount of stress relief and participants in the adult coloring book condition or control task condition desired to pick up their packets after the study more than those who participated in coloring children’s pages. Although adult coloring books have become extremely popular for their stress-relieving reputation, use of a children’s coloring book can likely be just as beneficial at reducing stress on an immediate short-term basis.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: Simmons, Courtney
Student's Degree Program(s): B.A. Psychology
Thesis Advisor: Carey Bernini Dowling
Thesis Advisor's Department: Psychology
Institution: University of Mississippi
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Depositing User: Courtney Simmons
Date Deposited: 19 May 2017 18:27
Last Modified: 19 May 2017 18:27
URI: http://thesis.honors.olemiss.edu/id/eprint/947

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