Date of Award

Spring April 2013

Access Restriction

Research Projects

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Marital and Family Therapy

School or College

College of Communication and Fine Arts

First Advisor

Debra Linesch


This paper is an exploration among low-income Latino adolescents, which seeks to explore the experiences and the stressors from immigration, acculturation, and bicultural identity through art. The participants selected from Dolores Mission Parish in Boyle Heights California, created a personal art piece and a collaborative installation. The art explores and expresses their personal journeys with acculturation and bicultural identity. Multiple sources of data were collected including daily observation, group discussions, individual artwork, collaborative installation, and photographs taken during the workshop; to gain an understanding of what acculturation means to adolescents, how this process effects their lives, their experiences with biculturalism, and the effects of a community arts based workshop. The data-collecting workshop was held on two Saturdays. This study uses qualitative methods; data analysis shows a positive impact in a community setting in the areas of self-confidence, self-expression, self-concept, community building, and processing hardships related to acculturation and bicultural identity. Research also shows the use of art as a creative expression is a positive outlet that allows adolescents to freely express and reflect on their experiences leading to increased self-confidence, and pride.