Project Title: 

Caregiving Research Institute

Funding detail: 
NEA Research Lab
Arizona State University
Principal Investigator: 
Tamara Underiner, PhD
Project summary: 

Arizona State University will develop a new Caregiving Research Initiative within its Creative Health Collaborations research hub, which will examine the role of three different art forms in supporting three different caregiving contexts. The art forms and contexts are: 1) theater-making for parents and families of children with special needs, 2) technology-enhanced narrative expression for families of cancer patients, and 3) music for families of veterans suffering post-traumatic stress disorder. The Lab's keystone study will be conducted in partnership with Childsplay Theatre Company in Tempe, Arizona. Products likely to result from this Lab include: peer-review research journal publications, conference presentations, a best-practices guide for potential collaborators and a workbook or manual that may be used by other theater companies developing their own programming for working with families of special-needs children, and tools for the caregivers themselves.

The research agenda aims to address the following research questions:

  • What are the social, emotional, physical, and/or physiological 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?
  • What kinds of art forms are invoked in these relationships, and at what levels of participation?
  • How do these benefits or related outcomes vary by one's age, socioeconomic characteristics, other demographic and behavioral patterns, and/or by health or disability status?
Other Key Personnel: 
  • David Coon, PhD
  • Elizabeth Reifsnider, PhD
  • Stephani Etheridge Woodson, PhD
  • Shelby Langer, PhD

Arizona State University logo