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Coloring for Stress Relief - Bibliography: Home


Citations from the ERIC Database

Building Blocks and Coloring Away Stress: Utilizing Lego and Coloring as Stress Reduction Strategies among University Students 
Shields, Margaret. Hunnell, William. Tucker, Melanie. Price, Annie. 
Journal of Health Education Teaching. v11 n1 p24-31 2020 
AN: EJ1268742 
Purpose: Anxiety disorders are a common mental health problem on college campuses. Underused creative programs offer intrinsic value to the successful integration of college students. The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of the use of building block therapy (LEGO ) in stress management/reduction in comparison to traditional art therapy through the use of coloring books. Methods: Researchers conducted an intervention over for one-month with eight 1-hour sessions of coloring (n=5) or building (n=5) and compared to a control group (n=6). Students completed pre- and post-study surveys as well as pre-and post-session surveys. Descriptive statistics and the Wilcoxon Signed-ranks test were used for the pre- and post-study data of the control, coloring and building block groups to assess and compare changes in the individuals or between the groups. Results: Building block therapy was found to be non-inferior to the proven stress reduction method of coloring. The coloring group was found to be significant in the perceived reduction of stress (p [less than or equal to] 0.001) with an initial mean of 3.43 and final mean of 1.62, and the building block group was found to be significant (p [less than or equal to] 0.001) with an initial mean of 2.75 and final mean of 1.48. Conclusions: This pilot study sheds light on the importance of creativity in stress reduction. Looking beyond the conventional and enjoying the art of play, adults are able to use "toys" as a method of escape and relaxation. This research will help to elaborate on the anecdotes of pop-culture icons such as David Beckham, Trey Parker and Ed Sheeran to the efficacy of building block activities in stress reduction and help university students better understand alternative methods to mental health therapy and stress reduction. Recommendations: Through building blocks and art therapy students have an opportunity to socialize with other students. This adds significance to the beneficence of building blocks as a stress management tool and may increase possibilities for building social support networks. This study may help faculty and staff of similar universities to explore similar methods to help improve student success and retention. (As Provided)
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Effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Coloring for University Students 
Carsley, Dana. Heath, Nancy L. 
Journal of American College Health. v68 n5 p518-527 2020 
AN: EJ1259254 
Objective: This study compared the effectiveness of mindfulness coloring (mandala), free drawing/coloring, and a noncoloring control activity for university students' test anxiety, and assessed the relationship of dispositional mindfulness and response to intervention on mindfulness and test anxiety states. Participants: University students (n = 167; 81.4% female; M[subscript age] = 21.29 years, SD = 4.46) were randomly assigned to a mandala (n = 57), free draw/coloring (n = 58), or noncoloring condition (n = 52). Methods: Participants completed standardized measures assessing test anxiety and state mindfulness pre-postactivity before completing a test, and two dispositional mindfulness measures. Results: Participants in both coloring conditions reported significant decreases in test anxiety and significant increases in state mindfulness pre-postintervention, and participants in the control condition reported significant increases in test anxiety. Reports of preintervention state mindfulness and test anxiety fully mediated relations between dispositional mindfulness and postintervention state mindfulness and test anxiety. Conclusions: Implications for research and practice on mindfulness coloring and test anxiety are discussed. (As Provided)

Cognitive and Affective Benefits of Coloring: Two Randomized Controlled Crossover Studies 
Holt, Nicola J. Furbert, Leah. Sweetingham, Emily. 
Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association. v36 n4 p200-208 2019 
AN: EJ1235246 
This research sought to replicate and extend work suggesting that coloring can reduce anxiety, asking whether coloring can improve cognitive performance. In 2 experiments, undergraduates (N = 47, N = 52) colored and participated in a control condition. Subjective and performance measures of mood and mindfulness were included: an implicit mood test (Experiment 1) and a selective attention task (Experiment 2) along with a divergent thinking test. In both experiments, coloring significantly reduced anxiety and increased mindfulness compared with control and baseline scores. Following coloring, participants scored significantly lower on implicit fear than the control condition, and significantly higher on selective attention and original ideation. Coloring might not only reduce anxiety, but also improve mindful attention and creative cognition. (As Provided)

The Effectiveness of Structured Coloring Activities for Anxiety Reduction 
Ashlock, Laura E. Miller-Perrin, Cindy. Krumrei-Mancuso, Elizabeth. 
Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association. v35 n4 p195-201 2018 
AN: EJ1209353 
This study compared the effects of 4 different coloring activities on state anxiety scores to determine whether adult coloring books are as effective as other coloring activities in reducing anxiety. Participants were 160 undergraduates attending a private, Christian, liberal arts university. After engaging in an anxiety induction activity, participants completed an anxiety inventory, engaged in an assigned coloring activity, and then completed the anxiety inventory again. Results indicated that all 4 conditions significantly reduced anxiety; however, none of the conditions differed significantly from each other in their effectiveness, suggesting that coloring books are as effective as other coloring activities in reducing anxiety. Implications for coloring book use and its relationship to the field of art therapy are discussed. (As Provided)

Sharpen Your Pencils: Preliminary Evidence That Adult Coloring Reduces Depressive Symptoms and Anxiety 
Flett, Jayde A M. Lie, Celia. Riordan, Benjamin C. Thompson, Laura M. Conner, Tamlin S. Hayne, Harlene. 
Creativity Research Journal. v29 n4 p409-416 2017 
AN: EJ1159022 
Adult coloring books have flooded the market with titles alluding to therapeutic value, yet it is unclear whether they fulfil that promise. Here, we tested whether adult coloring was related to improvements in psychological outcomes. Female university students (n = 104) were randomly assigned to a coloring intervention or a logic-puzzle control group. Participants completed an inventory of psychological measures (depressive symptoms, stress, anxiety, flourishing, resilience, mindfulness) and then participated in a 1-week intervention of either daily coloring or logic-puzzles. Following the intervention, participants again completed the inventory of psychological measures. Coloring participants showed significantly lower levels of depressive symptoms and anxiety after the intervention, but control participants did not. We conclude that daily coloring can improve some negative psychological outcomes and that it may provide an effective, inexpensive, and highly accessible self-help tool for nonclinical samples. (As Provided)

Coloring versus Drawing: Effects of Cognitive Demand on Mood Repair, Flow, and Enjoyment 
Forkosh, Jennifer. Drake, Jennifer E. 
Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association. v34 n2 p75-82 2017 
AN: EJ1146198 
We examined whether using drawing to distract, by either coloring a design or drawing a design, improves mood more than drawing to express feelings. We manipulated levels of cognitive demand in the first 2 conditions by asking participants to color a design (low cognitive demand) or draw a design (high cognitive demand). After a sad mood induction, we randomly assigned 70 participants to coloring, drawing, or drawing to express thoughts and feelings. Affect was measured before and after the mood induction and after drawing. Participants also reported on their level of enjoyment and flow when drawing. Both distraction conditions, regardless of level of cognitive demand, improved affect. Whereas those in both the coloring and drawing conditions enjoyed the activity more than the drawing to express condition, only the coloring condition resulted in greater states of flow. (As Provided)

The Effects of Coloring on Anxiety, Mood, and Perseverance 
Eaton, Judy. Tieber, Christine. 
Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association. v34 n1 p42-46 2017 
AN: EJ1133969 
This study tested whether the structure of a coloring task has an effect on anxiety, mood, and perseverance. Eighty-five undergraduate students were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 coloring conditions: free choice, where they could color an image using any colors they wanted, and forced choice, where they were instructed to copy the colors of a precolored image. Anxiety and mood were measured before and after coloring; in addition, perseverance was measured after coloring. Results showed positive effects of coloring, with greater anxiety reduction and evidence of higher perseverance in the free-choice group compared to the forced-choice group. This suggests that well-being might be facilitated by a coloring task that balances structure and engagement. (As Provided)

Can Coloring Mandalas Reduce Anxiety? 
Curry, Nancy A. Kasser, Tim. 
Art Therapy Journal of the American Art Therapy Assoc. v22 n2 p81-85 2005 
AN: EJ688443 
This study examined the effectiveness of different types of art activities in the reduction of anxiety. After undergoing a brief anxiety-induction, 84 undergraduate students were randomly assigned to color a mandala, to color a plaid form, or to color on a blank piece of paper. Results demonstrated that anxiety levels declined approximately the same for the mandala-and plaid-coloring groups and that both of these groups experienced more reduction in anxiety than did the unstructured-coloring group. These findings suggest that structured coloring of a reasonably complex geometric pattern may induce a meditative state that benefits individuals suffering from anxiety. (Author)