Research on the Effects of Anxiety in College Students

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Anxiety is characterized as being In the World Book _ edition (2005), the founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Feud, stated “Anxiety is a basic emotion that influences everyone’s life from earliest childhood” (p. 562).


Melissa Linquist and Cynthia Turk of Washburn University conducted this study in 2010. The purpose of this study was to test the effects art therapy has on anxiety in college students.


Linquist and Turk hypothesized that the participants using clay would have a decrease in anxiety.


Thirty-four women and fourteen men participated in this study. All the participants were students at a small university in the Midwest. This study’s racial makeup was: 90% Caucasian, 4% Latino/Latina, 2% African American, 2% Native American, and 2% mixed ethnicity. The age of the participants was 18-23 which is the average age for a college student. The students who participated in this study were all enrolled in an Introduction to Psychology class. They all received credit for participating.


The participants in this study were assigned to different classrooms to take a survey regarding demographics and information of the participants and a questionnaire used to evaluate the anxiety that the participants were experiencing. The questionnaire only used two of the seven MASQ-SD subscales. The two that were used were the Anxious Arousal scale and the General Distress: Anxious Symptom scale. In between the survey and the questionnaire, the participants had to write for five minutes about something stressful in their lives. After the survey and the questionnaire were finished the participants were randomly instructed to either work with the clay or the Rubik’s cube for fifteen minutes. The participants who were working with the clay were advised to make a pinch pot out of the clay. The instructions were to make a ball out of the clay. After they made the ball it they were told that it works best to push their thumb towards the middle while using the rest of their fingers to make a wall along the outside. The participants who were working with the Rubik’s cube were told that a common place to start is to make a cross at the top with one color. After the fifteen minutes were up the participants were given another questionnaire. This questionnaire used the other five MASQ subscales. After this questionnaire was completed the participants asked any questions that they had and then they were able to leave.


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The participants who used the Rubik’s cube and the clay both had more experience with clay than a Rubik’s cube. This study was effective because the participants were assigned to the different groups randomly and did not choose the one that they had more experience with. The randomization was also effective because it created equal groups of anxiety for a baseline. As the surveys were being taken both groups reported having similar levels of anxiety, but after the use of either the clay or the Rubik’s cube, the users of clay experienced a greater decrease in anxiety than those of the Rubik’s cube. This supported the hypothesis that Turk and Linquist had come up with at the beginning of the study.


One of the limitations of this study was that people had more experience with the clay then they did with the Rubik’s cube. The amount of experience or inexperience with the object could’ve been a factor that effected the anxiety of the participants. A solution to that limitation would be for the participants to sit for fifteen minutes quietly. Other thought to improve this study were to provide different art therapies such as paint instead of clay.


A group of psychologists conducted this study in 2010. The purpose of this study was to test


Participants. In this study there were a total of forty-seven participants. One hundred twelve people registered to participate, but sixty-five of them did not pass the required prescreening criteria that was needed for this study. The criteria to participate in this study included: (a) have to be registered for and receiving mental health counseling services; (b) have to be a student at the university; (c) have to be able to participate in physical activity without exacerbating a pre-existing condition; and (d) have access to a personal computer with internet connection. This study took place at a large university in the Midwest. Most of the participants were white undergraduate students. The ages of the participants ranged from 18-25 years old. All of the participants received sixty dollars for completing the questionnaires required for this study. Along with the sixty dollars they were all entered into win a two-hundred-dollar prize.


The participants were put into either the intervention group or the control group randomly. The control group only had twenty-three people while the intervention group had twenty-four participants. This study took place over ten weeks in the middle of their semester. The intervention group participants had to establish a physical activity baseline. After they established the baseline that had to meet with a trained physical activity counselor who gave them orientation to this study.

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