Research Article
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The therapeutic value of creative art-making during the covid-19 pandemic

Year 2022, Volume 9, Issue 1, 93 - 113, 30.03.2022

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a major life stressor and building resilience is integral to coping with it. Art-making is one way to address the adversities of the pandemic as it allows creative individuals to experience positive affect, engage in self-reflection, and heal psychological wounds. In this study, 270 participants completed a background survey reflecting upon health and precautionary measures, emotional state felt prior to participating, and trait resilience. Participants also assessed their artistic practices both before and during the pandemic with the focus on change in attitudes. Each described an artwork created during the pandemic and reflected on its value. As expected, participants who followed precautionary measures were in better health, experienced positive affect, and were generally more resilient. Emotional self-care became a primary focus of art-making during the pandemic, whereas getting into a state of flow and having a non-judgmental attitude while creating the artwork were the central focus prior to the pandemic. These findings show that art-making offers therapeutic benefits for an individual’s psychological well-being and that there were deleterious impacts of the pandemic on the self-expression process.

References

  • Anand, K.B., Karade, S., Sen, S., & Gupta, R.M. (2020. SARS-CoV-2: camazotz's curse. Medical Journal, Armed Forces India 76(2), 136–141. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mjafi.2020.04.008
  • Bell, C. E. & Robbins, S. J. (2007). Effect of art production on negative mood: A randomized, controlled trial. Art Therapy, 24(2), 71-75, DOI: 10.1080/07421656.2007.10129589
  • Bushman, B. J., Baumeister, R. F., & Phillips, C. M. (2001). Do people aggress to improve their mood? Catharsis beliefs, affect regulation opportunity, and aggressive responding. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81(1), 17–32. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.81.1.17
  • Chiesa, A., Serretti, A., & Jakobsen, J. C. (2013). Mindfulness: Top–down or bottom–up emotion regulation strategy? Clinical Psychology Review, 33(1), 82–96. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2012.10.006
  • Coholic, D. A. (2011). Exploring the feasibility and benefits of arts-based mindfulness-based practices with young people in need: Aiming to improve aspects of self-awareness and resilience. Child & Youth Care Forum, 40(4), 303–317. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10566-010-9139-x
  • Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. Harper Perennial.
  • Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1996). Creativity: Flow and the psychology of discovery and invention. HarperCollins.
  • Cupchik G. C. & Kiosses E. (2020). Taking the pulse of the UTSC student community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Scarborough.
  • De Dreu, C. K. W., Baas, M., & Nijstad, B. A. (2008). Hedonic tone and activation level in the mood-creativity link: Toward a dual pathway to creativity model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94(5), 739–756. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.94.5.739
  • Dewey, J. (1980). Art as experience. Perigee.
  • Fancourt, D., Garnett, C., & Müllensiefen, D. (2020). The relationship between demographics, behavioral and experiential engagement factors, and the use of artistic creative activities to regulate emotions. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. https://doi.org/10.1037/aca0000296
  • Fraser, K. D., & al Sayah, F. (2011). Arts-based methods in health research: A systematic review of the literature. Arts & Health: An International Journal of Research, Policy and Practice, 3(2), 110–145. https://doi.org/10.1080/17533015.2011.561357
  • Forgeard, M. J. C. (2013). Perceiving benefits after adversity: The relationship between self-reported posttraumatic growth and creativity. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 7(3), 245–264. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0031223
  • Futterman Collier, A., & Wayment, H. A. (2019). Enhancing and explaining art-making for mood-repair: The benefits of positive growth-oriented instructions and quiet ego contemplation. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/aca0000286
  • Gallo, L. M. H., Giampietro, V., Zunszain, P. A., & Tan, K. S. (2021). Covid-19 and mental health: Could visual art exposure help? Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 1423. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.650314
  • Gerzina, H. A., & Porfeli, E. J. (2012). Mindfulness as a predictor of positive reappraisal and burnout in standardized patients. Teaching and Learning in Medicine, 24(4), 309-314. doi: 10.1080/10401334.2012.715255
  • Gross, J., & Thompson, R. A. (2007). Conceptual foundations for the field. In J. J. Gross (Ed.), Handbook of emotion regulation (pp. 3–24). New York, NY: Guilford.
  • Janoff-Bulman, R. (1992). Shattered assumptions: Towards a new psychology of trauma. Free Press.
  • Kirton, M. J. (1994). Adaptors and innovators: Styles of creativity and problem solving. Routledge.
  • Kramer, E. (2001). Art as therapy: Collected papers. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
  • Liu, C. H., Zhang, E., Wong, G. T. F., Hyun, S., & Hahm, H. “Chris.” (2020). Factors associated with depression, anxiety, and PTSD symptomatology during the COVID-19 pandemic: Clinical implications for U.S. young adult mental health. Psychiatry Research, 290, 113172. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2020.113172
  • Luthar, S. S. (1991). Vulnerability and resilience: A study of high-risk adolescents. Child Development, 62(3), 600–616. https://doi.org/10.2307/1131134
  • Makarious, M., & Cupchik, G. C. (2019) Resilience among Christians and Muslims in Egypt and Canada. 25th annual health research conference. Vancouver, October 27-29.
  • Masiero, M., Mazzocco, K., Harnois, C., Cropley, M., & Pravettoni, G. (2020). From Individual To Social Trauma: Sources Of Everyday Trauma In Italy, The US And UK During The Covid-19 Pandemic. Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 21, 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1080/15299732.2020.1787296
  • Masten, A. S. (2014). Global perspectives on resilience in children and youth. Child Development, 85(1), 6–20. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.12205
  • Masten, A. S. (2018). Resilience theory and research on children and families: Past, present, and promise. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 10(1), 12–31. https://doi.org/10.1111/jftr.12255
  • Panchal, N., & Kamal, R. (2020). The Implications of COVID-19 for Mental Health and Substance Use. 14.
  • PeConga, E. K., Gauthier, G. M., Holloway, A., Walker, R. S. W., Rosencrans, P. L., Zoellner, L. A., & Bedard-Gilligan, M. (2020). Resilience is spreading: Mental health within the COVID-19 pandemic. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 12(S1), S47–S48. https://doi.org/10.1037/tra0000874
  • Richter, A., Krämer, B., Diekhof, E. K., & Gruber, O. (2019). Resilience to adversity is associated with increased activity and connectivity in the VTA and hippocampus. NeuroImage Clinical, 23, 101920. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nicl.2019.101920
  • Slayton, S. C., D'Archer, J., & Kaplan, F. (2010). Outcome studies on the efficacy of art therapy: A review of findings. Art Therapy, 27(3), 108–119. https://doi.org/10.1080/07421656.2010.10129660
  • Stanton, A. L., Danoff-Burg, S., Cameron, C. L., Bishop, M., Collins, C. A., Kirk, S. B., Sworowski, L. A., & Twillman, R. (2000). Emotionally expressive coping predicts psychological and physical adjustment to breast cancer. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 68(5), 875-882.
  • Stewart, T. M. (2004). Light on body image treatment: Acceptance through mindfulness. Behavior Modification, 28(6), 783–811. https://doi.org/10.1177/0145445503259862
  • Tedeschi, R. G., & Calhoun, L. G. (2004). Posttraumatic growth: Conceptual foundations and empirical evidence. Psychological Inquiry, 15(1), 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327965pli1501_01
  • Walsh, F. (2020). Loss and resilience in the time of COVID‐19: Meaning making, hope, and transcendence. Family Process, 59. https://doi.org/10.1111/famp.12588
  • Wang, C., Pan, R., Wan, X., Tan, Y., Xu, L., Ho, C. S., & Ho, R. C. (2020). Immediate psychological responses and associated factors during the initial stage of the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) epidemic among the general population in China. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(5). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17051729
  • Wanzer, D. L., Finley, K. P., Zarian, S., & Cortez, N. (2020). Experiencing flow while viewing art: Development of the Aesthetic Experience Questionnaire. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 14(1), 113–124. https://doi.org/10.1037/aca0000203
  • Wilkinson, R. A., & Chilton, G. (2013). Positive art therapy: Linking positive psychology to art therapy theory, practice, and research. Art Therapy, 30(1), 4–11. https://doi.org/10.1080/07421656.2013.757513
  • World Health Organization. (2020). Mental health and COVID-19. http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/health-emergencies/coronavirus-covid-19/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-technical-guidance/ coronavirus-disease-covid-19-outbreak-technical-guidance-europe/mental-health-and-covid-19
  • Xiong, J. (2020). Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on mental health in the general population_ A systematic review. Journal of Affective Disorders, 10.
  • Zhu, Y., Zhang, L., Zhou, X., Li, C., & Yang, D. (2021). The impact of social distancing during COVID-19: A conditional process model of negative emotions, alienation, affective disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Journal of Affective Disorders, 281, 131–137. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2020.12.004

Year 2022, Volume 9, Issue 1, 93 - 113, 30.03.2022

Abstract

References

  • Anand, K.B., Karade, S., Sen, S., & Gupta, R.M. (2020. SARS-CoV-2: camazotz's curse. Medical Journal, Armed Forces India 76(2), 136–141. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mjafi.2020.04.008
  • Bell, C. E. & Robbins, S. J. (2007). Effect of art production on negative mood: A randomized, controlled trial. Art Therapy, 24(2), 71-75, DOI: 10.1080/07421656.2007.10129589
  • Bushman, B. J., Baumeister, R. F., & Phillips, C. M. (2001). Do people aggress to improve their mood? Catharsis beliefs, affect regulation opportunity, and aggressive responding. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81(1), 17–32. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.81.1.17
  • Chiesa, A., Serretti, A., & Jakobsen, J. C. (2013). Mindfulness: Top–down or bottom–up emotion regulation strategy? Clinical Psychology Review, 33(1), 82–96. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2012.10.006
  • Coholic, D. A. (2011). Exploring the feasibility and benefits of arts-based mindfulness-based practices with young people in need: Aiming to improve aspects of self-awareness and resilience. Child & Youth Care Forum, 40(4), 303–317. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10566-010-9139-x
  • Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. Harper Perennial.
  • Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1996). Creativity: Flow and the psychology of discovery and invention. HarperCollins.
  • Cupchik G. C. & Kiosses E. (2020). Taking the pulse of the UTSC student community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Scarborough.
  • De Dreu, C. K. W., Baas, M., & Nijstad, B. A. (2008). Hedonic tone and activation level in the mood-creativity link: Toward a dual pathway to creativity model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94(5), 739–756. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.94.5.739
  • Dewey, J. (1980). Art as experience. Perigee.
  • Fancourt, D., Garnett, C., & Müllensiefen, D. (2020). The relationship between demographics, behavioral and experiential engagement factors, and the use of artistic creative activities to regulate emotions. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. https://doi.org/10.1037/aca0000296
  • Fraser, K. D., & al Sayah, F. (2011). Arts-based methods in health research: A systematic review of the literature. Arts & Health: An International Journal of Research, Policy and Practice, 3(2), 110–145. https://doi.org/10.1080/17533015.2011.561357
  • Forgeard, M. J. C. (2013). Perceiving benefits after adversity: The relationship between self-reported posttraumatic growth and creativity. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 7(3), 245–264. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0031223
  • Futterman Collier, A., & Wayment, H. A. (2019). Enhancing and explaining art-making for mood-repair: The benefits of positive growth-oriented instructions and quiet ego contemplation. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/aca0000286
  • Gallo, L. M. H., Giampietro, V., Zunszain, P. A., & Tan, K. S. (2021). Covid-19 and mental health: Could visual art exposure help? Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 1423. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.650314
  • Gerzina, H. A., & Porfeli, E. J. (2012). Mindfulness as a predictor of positive reappraisal and burnout in standardized patients. Teaching and Learning in Medicine, 24(4), 309-314. doi: 10.1080/10401334.2012.715255
  • Gross, J., & Thompson, R. A. (2007). Conceptual foundations for the field. In J. J. Gross (Ed.), Handbook of emotion regulation (pp. 3–24). New York, NY: Guilford.
  • Janoff-Bulman, R. (1992). Shattered assumptions: Towards a new psychology of trauma. Free Press.
  • Kirton, M. J. (1994). Adaptors and innovators: Styles of creativity and problem solving. Routledge.
  • Kramer, E. (2001). Art as therapy: Collected papers. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
  • Liu, C. H., Zhang, E., Wong, G. T. F., Hyun, S., & Hahm, H. “Chris.” (2020). Factors associated with depression, anxiety, and PTSD symptomatology during the COVID-19 pandemic: Clinical implications for U.S. young adult mental health. Psychiatry Research, 290, 113172. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2020.113172
  • Luthar, S. S. (1991). Vulnerability and resilience: A study of high-risk adolescents. Child Development, 62(3), 600–616. https://doi.org/10.2307/1131134
  • Makarious, M., & Cupchik, G. C. (2019) Resilience among Christians and Muslims in Egypt and Canada. 25th annual health research conference. Vancouver, October 27-29.
  • Masiero, M., Mazzocco, K., Harnois, C., Cropley, M., & Pravettoni, G. (2020). From Individual To Social Trauma: Sources Of Everyday Trauma In Italy, The US And UK During The Covid-19 Pandemic. Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 21, 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1080/15299732.2020.1787296
  • Masten, A. S. (2014). Global perspectives on resilience in children and youth. Child Development, 85(1), 6–20. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.12205
  • Masten, A. S. (2018). Resilience theory and research on children and families: Past, present, and promise. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 10(1), 12–31. https://doi.org/10.1111/jftr.12255
  • Panchal, N., & Kamal, R. (2020). The Implications of COVID-19 for Mental Health and Substance Use. 14.
  • PeConga, E. K., Gauthier, G. M., Holloway, A., Walker, R. S. W., Rosencrans, P. L., Zoellner, L. A., & Bedard-Gilligan, M. (2020). Resilience is spreading: Mental health within the COVID-19 pandemic. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 12(S1), S47–S48. https://doi.org/10.1037/tra0000874
  • Richter, A., Krämer, B., Diekhof, E. K., & Gruber, O. (2019). Resilience to adversity is associated with increased activity and connectivity in the VTA and hippocampus. NeuroImage Clinical, 23, 101920. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nicl.2019.101920
  • Slayton, S. C., D'Archer, J., & Kaplan, F. (2010). Outcome studies on the efficacy of art therapy: A review of findings. Art Therapy, 27(3), 108–119. https://doi.org/10.1080/07421656.2010.10129660
  • Stanton, A. L., Danoff-Burg, S., Cameron, C. L., Bishop, M., Collins, C. A., Kirk, S. B., Sworowski, L. A., & Twillman, R. (2000). Emotionally expressive coping predicts psychological and physical adjustment to breast cancer. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 68(5), 875-882.
  • Stewart, T. M. (2004). Light on body image treatment: Acceptance through mindfulness. Behavior Modification, 28(6), 783–811. https://doi.org/10.1177/0145445503259862
  • Tedeschi, R. G., & Calhoun, L. G. (2004). Posttraumatic growth: Conceptual foundations and empirical evidence. Psychological Inquiry, 15(1), 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327965pli1501_01
  • Walsh, F. (2020). Loss and resilience in the time of COVID‐19: Meaning making, hope, and transcendence. Family Process, 59. https://doi.org/10.1111/famp.12588
  • Wang, C., Pan, R., Wan, X., Tan, Y., Xu, L., Ho, C. S., & Ho, R. C. (2020). Immediate psychological responses and associated factors during the initial stage of the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) epidemic among the general population in China. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(5). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17051729
  • Wanzer, D. L., Finley, K. P., Zarian, S., & Cortez, N. (2020). Experiencing flow while viewing art: Development of the Aesthetic Experience Questionnaire. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 14(1), 113–124. https://doi.org/10.1037/aca0000203
  • Wilkinson, R. A., & Chilton, G. (2013). Positive art therapy: Linking positive psychology to art therapy theory, practice, and research. Art Therapy, 30(1), 4–11. https://doi.org/10.1080/07421656.2013.757513
  • World Health Organization. (2020). Mental health and COVID-19. http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/health-emergencies/coronavirus-covid-19/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-technical-guidance/ coronavirus-disease-covid-19-outbreak-technical-guidance-europe/mental-health-and-covid-19
  • Xiong, J. (2020). Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on mental health in the general population_ A systematic review. Journal of Affective Disorders, 10.
  • Zhu, Y., Zhang, L., Zhou, X., Li, C., & Yang, D. (2021). The impact of social distancing during COVID-19: A conditional process model of negative emotions, alienation, affective disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Journal of Affective Disorders, 281, 131–137. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2020.12.004

Details

Primary Language English
Subjects Psychology, Multidisciplinary
Published Date March 2022
Journal Section Creativity
Authors

Helen W. CHAN This is me
University of Ontorio
Canada


Angelie IGNACİO
University of Toronto
0000-0001-5954-2662
Canada


Clara REBELLO This is me
University of Toronto
Canada


Gerald CUPCHİK (Primary Author)
University of Toronto
0000-0002-1407-6503
Canada

Publication Date March 30, 2022
Published in Issue Year 2022, Volume 9, Issue 1

Cite

APA Chan, H. W. , Ignacio, A. , Rebello, C. & Cupchik, G. (2022). The therapeutic value of creative art-making during the covid-19 pandemic . Journal of Gifted Education and Creativity , 9 (1) , 93-113 . Retrieved from https://dergipark.org.tr/en/pub/jgedc/issue/68496/1082410

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