EVALUATING THE IMPACT OF A CULTURALLY SENSITIVE ART PROGRAM ON THE RESILIENCE, PERCEIVED STRESS, AND MOOD OF URBAN AMERICAN INDIAN YOUTH

Vesna Pepic, Suzanne McWilliams, Shaylynne Shuler, Heather J. Williamson, Aaron Secakuku

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth face a history of adversity and trauma that are linked to academic and health concerns. Culturally grounded art-based interventions hold promise to address challenges faced by AI youth. AI culture and wisdom can evoke a sense of capability in youth that strengthens their resilience. This study sought to evaluate a culturally oriented art therapy curriculum on its impact on resilience, stress, and mood for AI youth (n = 36). A paired-samples t-test was conducted to compare the perceived stress scores of the participants before and after a 12-week art intervention. There was a significant decrease in participant perceived stress between the pre (M = 16.7, SD = 4.7) and post conditions (M = 20.4, SD = 4.6); t (24) =, -3.5 p = 0.002). A paired-samples t-test was conducted to compare the mood of each participant before and after each instance of art activity to see if there was a self-reported change in mood. There was a significant improvement in participant mood in 10 out of 11 of the intervention weeks. Although no statistically significant change was found in participant resilience, participants in this study did report high levels of resilience. This study provides promising evidence that a culturally salient after-school art curriculum program can reduce stress and improve mood for urban AI youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Anthropology
  • History
  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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