The unique therapeutic effect of different art materials on psychological aspects of 7- to 9-year-old children

Tamar Pesso-Aviv, Dafna Regev, Joseph guttmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study focused on the important role art materials play in art therapy and examined whether different materials have different effects on participants (children aged 7-9). The materials investigated ranged from regressive to controlled - gouache paints, oil chalks, and pencils - and examined their effect on four psychological variables: aggression, self-esteem, anxiety, and self-control. In addition, the participants' evaluation of their experience throughout the experimental intervention was examined. The study included 41 children who were divided into three experimental groups according to the art material supplied. Each group underwent a similar experimental process that included 10 sessions with the material assigned to that group. The research findings revealed a significant difference in the level of aggression between pre- and post-intervention scores among all participants. There was also a significant difference in one aspect of the participants' evaluation of the session. Even though no other significant differences were found, the differences in levels of aggression and self-control were observed to be close to significant among the groups. This study partially validates the hypothesis that different materials have different effects in art therapy, thereby demonstrating the importance of the specific and educated choice of materials in the therapeutic framework.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-301
Number of pages9
JournalArts in Psychotherapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2014


  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Art materials
  • Self-control
  • Self-esteem
  • Session evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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