Year of Publication


Season of Publication


Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Tracy Alloway

Second Advisor

Dr. Gabriel Ybarra

Department Chair

Dr. Lori Lange

College Dean

Dr. Daniel Moon


The aim of this study was to explore the effect a coloring condition had on minimizing anxiety and stress experienced daily by veterans. The effect that coloring had on working memory was also explored.

A sample of 24 armed forces veterans were split into two coloring conditions, a mandala and a free draw condition, and asked to complete the Primary Care PTSD Screen, the Perceived Stress Scale and the Brief State Trait Anxiety Inventory. Working memory scores were established via a Backward Digit Recall task; pre-and posttest scores were evaluated for significant differences.

Our research suggests the act of coloring, not the coloring condition, resulted in significant decreases in stress and anxiety and an increase in working memory. We also found that participants who suffer from PTSD displayed significant decreases in stress and anxiety and significant increases in working memory when compared to individuals without PTSD.