Online Program

Expressive art activities for students affected by an earthquake in China: Self efficacy, peer support and anxiety

Monday, November 4, 2013

Hor Yan Lai, MSc, MA, George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St Louis, St Louis, MO
Rainbow Ho, PhD, Centre on Behavioral Health and The Department of Social Work and Social Administration, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Interventions using art activities show promise in enhancing the mental health of children affected by natural disasters, who are at risk of developing emotional and behavioral problems. As such, an expressive arts activity intervention is conducted for children affected by the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan, China. Based on the Self Efficacy Theory and the Stress Buffering Hypothesis, we hypothesized that the intervention will have positive effects on self-efficacy and peer support, which would, in turn, decrease anxiety levels. Participants (n=112; female=62%) were grade 4 students from 3 primary schools in Sichuan. A quasi-experimental study was conducted over a 4 month period. Students in the experiment group (n=61) participated in 3 school-based art activities designed according to concepts of expressive arts therapy. Pre and posttest measurements, administered 4 months apart, were Spence Children's Anxiety Scale (Spence,2003),General Self Efficacy Scale (Zhang,1994) and the Classmate Support Scale (Torsheim, 2000). A path analysis was conducted using Mplus 6.0.Results.Results demonstrated satisfactory model statistics: X2=4.02(p=0.67),CFI/TFI=1.00, RMSEA=0.00, SRMR=0.035. Activity participation had a direct positive effect on post general self-efficacy(b=4.13, p=0.00) and post peer support(b=2.04, p=0.00).Post general self-efficacy was also positively related to post peers support (b=5.68, p=0.00).Although post general self-efficacy and peer support tended to be negatively related to post anxiety, the results are not statistically significant.Implications. This intervention promotes general self-efficacy and peer support among young quake victims, but do not decrease anxiety. To raise positive developments among young quake survivors, professionals can consider expressive arts intervention. Further research is needed to test the effect of expressive arts activities on anxiety reduction among quake victims.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate the use of expressive arts activity to promote the mental health of students affected by an earthquake in Sichuan, China.

Keyword(s): Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Disasters

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the project manager and research coordinator for the submitted abstract. My interests has been children's global mental health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.