Project Title: 

Arts Research on Chronic Stress Lab (ARCS)

Funding detail: 
NEA Research Lab
Drexel University
Principal Investigator: 
Joke Bradt, PhD, MT-BC
Project summary: 

Drexel University will develop a NEA Research Lab titled Arts Research on Chronic Stress Lab (ARCS) to explore the intersection of the arts, health, and social/emotional well-being. Research studies in the ARCS lab will focus on therapeutic art-making, creative arts therapies and connect with community-based arts organizations to enhance social engagement and overall well-being in individuals who have been affected by chronic stressors including chronic illness, prolonged caregiving, academic stressors and trauma, as well as testing the effects of creative arts therapies in pediatric cancer care settings, for post-surgical pain management and opioid usage, and for military service members who have post-traumatic stress and/or traumatic brain injury. The studies use interdisciplinary mixed methods experimental designs, incorporate a range of data sources (biomarkers, standardized surveys, narratives, artwork and music) and examine short term and long-term health outcomes. The Drexel team will collaborate and consult with arts practitioners from a range of sites in the Philadelphia and Washington DC region as well as sites affiliated with the Arts Endowment's Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network.

The research agenda aims to address the following research questions:

  • What are the social and/or emotional-related health benefits of participating in the arts for individuals, groups, or societies?
  • What physiological or psychological mechanisms or group dynamics are at work in achieving those benefits or related outcomes?
  • How do these benefits or related outcomes vary by one's socioeconomic characteristics, demographics and behavioral patterns, and one's stage of life?
Other Key Personnel: 
  • Girija Kaimal, EdD, ATR-BC

For more information on this Lab, see their Research Lab webpage.

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