Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Arts in General Psychology (MAGP)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Tracy Alloway

Second Advisor

Dr. Jody Nicholson

Rights Statement

Department Chair

Dr. Lori Lange

College Dean

Dr. Daniel Moon


This study explores whether the observed effects of coloring on anxiety and stress apply to the elderly. Two coloring activities were administered to elderly participants to evaluate the effects on stress, anxiety, and working memory. The Mini Mental State Examination was used to establish cognitive level. The Perceived Stress Scale and Brief State Trait Anxiety Inventory were administered to obtain pretest and posttest scores on stress and anxiety levels. Working memory was measured using the Backward Digit Recall to test if the potential calming effects improve working memory. A near significant increase in stress scores was demonstrated in the mandala condition. Also, a significant increase was found in backward digit recall scores in the doodling condition. The mandala difficulty and allotted time may negate the anticipated calming effects. Those wanting to implement art therapy should provide the required materials, then allow participants to self-select the activity, and time to dedicate.