Effect of Expressive Arts Therapy on the Mental Health Challenges of Women Deprived of Liberty


The study investigated the effect of Expressive Arts Therapy-based intervention (EAT-based) on the following mental health challenges: depression, aggression, trauma, and emotional regulation (cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression) of women deprived of liberty (WDL). 45 WDL aged 18 to 55 (Mean=37.3) who screened positive for depression using PHQ-9 from the pretest phase participated in this study. Using a multiple-group design with pretest and posttest, the participants were matched according to their PHQ-9 scores, age, nature of incarceration, and months of facility detention, and were randomly assigned to the performing arts group (n=15), visual arts group (n=15), and wait-list control group (n=15). Data were analyzed using paired samples t-test and One Way Anova, Tukey’s post-hoc Test, and Cohen’s d estimates of effect sizes. Findings from this study showed that joining an EAT-based intervention reduced depression (t(14)=2.59,p=.022, d=.668) and reduced aggression (t(14)= 2.39,p=0.032,d=.616), for WDL assigned to the performing arts. For the visual arts, the intervention reduced depression (t(14)=2.57,p=.022,d=.663), reduced aggression (t(14)=2.24, p=0.042, d=.579), and reduced expressive suppression (t(14)=1.03,p=.036,d=.266). Comparing the post-test scores between WDL who participated in the two treatment conditions and the wait-list control group indicated that there was a significant difference (F(2,42)= 4.44,p=.018) in the depression variable between the performing arts group and the wait-list control group, which the performing arts group has the highest efficacy. A significant difference was also found in expressive suppression (F(2,42)=6.18,p=.004) between the visual arts group compared to the performing arts and control group which suggests that visual arts has the highest efficacy.

Author Information
Venise Buenaflor, University of St. La Salle - Bacolod, Philippines

Paper Information
Conference: ACP2024
Stream: Mental Health

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon