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Dissertation

The Impact of Coloring on Social Anxiety in Graduate Students

11 July 2018

Abstract

The current study evaluated the effect of coloring on social anxiety in graduate students. The current study also evaluated the effect of coloring on cognitive biases common in social anxiety (probability and cost bias), as well as experiential avoidance, and state and trait mindfulness. Social anxiety, cognitive biases, experiential avoidance, and mindfulness were all evaluated by self-report measures. Previous research found that mandala coloring reduced state anxiety compared to free form and plaid coloring. To my knowledge, this study is the first to measure the effects of mandala coloring on social anxiety. I predicted that a brief structured coloring intervention would result in significant reductions in social anxiety, experiential avoidance, probability bias, and cost bias compared to controls. Contrary to what was predicted, the mandala coloring group did not show significantly less social anxiety, experiential avoidance, probability bias, or cost bias compared to controls. Yet, all participants did experience a significant reduction in social anxiety over time. Thus, engaging in a time-limited and focused activity daily like coloring or video watching may help reduce social anxiety.


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