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Art as an Avenue to Enhance Self-Esteem
Flauto, Margaret

1998, Master of Science in Education, Youngstown State University, Department of Educational Administration, Research, and Foundations.
This qualitative research thesis project centers on single women as parents, living in a sheltered environment with access to individual and group therapy. The study took place for twelve weeks on Saturday mornings from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. The group ranged in size from three to six participants, and from 23 to 48 years of age. All women have at least one child under thirteen years of age, and are enrolled in a post-secondary educational or technical program. The purpose of this qualitative research project is to promote and nurture participants' self-esteem by the use of art as a positive medium. The progressive art lessons began with simple two-dimensional drawings and advanced to three-dimensional concepts. In each process the participants were instructed to integrate something of personal meaning into the art composition. Data collection was employed by using interviews, weekly self-esteem guides, art compositions, general information, observations and discussion questions to determine subjects' progress and interests. As I reviewed the participants' individual input, I noted many positive strands emerging from the study. The strands validate my hypothesis that participants looked forward to an art experience because it gave them a chance to feel good about themselves and gave them an opportunity to interact with other women of like circumstances while individually building self-esteem and releasing stress. They took pride in their compositions which told stories about what has transpired in their lives. Subjects were enabled to set goals and future plans about their direction in life. The art compositions helped the women recognize their capabilities, projections aand dreams which are often only visible through art. The creative process helped develop a strong sense of achievement and self-esteem.
Philip Ginnetti (Advisor)
88 p.

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