This study compared the effects of 4 different coloring activities on state anxiety scores to determine whether adult coloring books are as effective as other coloring activities in reducing anxiety. Participants were 160 undergraduates attending a private, Christian, liberal arts university. After engaging in an anxiety induction activity, participants completed an anxiety inventory, engaged in an assigned coloring activity, and then completed the anxiety inventory again. Results indicated that all 4 conditions significantly reduced anxiety; however, none of the conditions differed significantly from each other in their effectiveness, suggesting that coloring books are as effective as other coloring activities in reducing anxiety. Implications for coloring book use and its relationship to the field of art therapy are discussed.
Ashlock, Laura E.; Miller-Perrin, Cindy; and Krumrei-Mancuso, Elizabeth, "The Effectiveness of Structured Coloring Activities for Anxiety Reduction" (2019). Pepperdine University, Faculty Open Access Publications. Paper 160.