2012 Student Research Conference:
25th Annual Student Research Conference

Effect of Working with Clay on Mood States and Stress Levels in College Students
Claire M. Schueler
Dr. Christopher D. Lantz and Prof. Wynne Wilbur, Faculty Mentors

This study examined the effects of working with clay on college students self-reported stress and mood. Seventeen subjects were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: building with air-dry clay (n = 11), progressive muscle relaxation (PMR; n = 3), or answering cognitive problems (n = 3). Subjects completed the Perceived Stress Scale and the PANAS-X prior to and after their assigned activities. Paired samples t-tests revealed that individuals working with clay showed increased positive mood states (t(10) = 2.88, p=0.013) and decreased negative mood states (t(10)= 2.997, p=0.016). Subjects in the clay condition decreased stress levels (t(10)= 6.686, p=0.01), whereas subjects who answered problems (t(2)= 0.180, p= 0.874) or participated in PMR (t(2)= 0.412, p=0.720) showed no significant changes in stress levels. Interpretation of these data suggests that creative tasks may be more effective at changing mood states and alleviating stress than other activities.

Keywords: Clay, Stress Levels, Mood States

Topic(s):Interdisciplinary
Exercise Science
Art - Studio Art

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 115-3
Location: MG 1090
Time: 8:30

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