Date of Award

Summer July 2014

Access Restriction


Degree Name

Doctorate in Education



School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Karen K. Huchting

Second Advisor

Debra Linesch

Third Advisor

Jill P. Bickett


This study looked at the impact of a weeklong visual art program informed by clinical art therapy on empathy development with two groups of adolescents in their school setting. The study used a mixed-methods approach to uncover any quantitative change in empathy as well as identify emergent themes seen through qualitative data. Quantitative outcomes indicated no change in empathy development as seen through analysis of a survey measure. Qualitative analysis uncovered several key findings seen through observations, participant interviews, and visual art data; most specifically, participants illustrated beginning levels of empathy by way of increased self-awareness and several cognitive functions involved in empathy development.