Date of Award

Spring 4-25-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

PHD - Doctor of Philosophy


Counseling & Psychology

First Advisor

Susan Gere

Second Advisor

Adam Meiselman

Third Advisor

Hilda Speicher


Though the use of art materials (pencil, paint, clay) have been widely researched in art therapy, little has been written about the role of adhesives (glue, tape, staples) in the art making process. This exploratory, sequential mixed methods study examined the relationship between attachment style, trauma, and the use of adhesive materials in art therapy and serves as a model for arts-based research which combines the scientific rigor of quantitative inquiry with a rich narrative descriptive of qualitative data. This research was the first step in developing the Arts-based Attachment Style Assessment (ABASA), a newly created art-based diagnostic tool to predict attachment style. A purposive sample (N=91) of college students from a small New England college participated in the research. While an initial MANOVA showed no main effect of adhesive choice for attachment style, F (6, 172) = 1.26, p = .278; Wilk's Λ = 0.918, a qualitative analysis of artwork and written narrative suggest that gender and trauma in combination with adhesive choice, might have a relationship to attachment style. As exploratory research, a second MANOVA, examining attachment style including three independent variables (trauma, gender, adhesive choice), was performed. Again, there was no significant main effect for adhesive on attachment. There was, however, a significant three-way interaction effect of gender, trauma, and adhesives on the attachment depend scale F(2,76) =5.50, p = .006 with a small effect size (partial η2 = .126) and high power (1 - β) =.838. Future research should include replication with testing of gender and trauma as covariates with larger sample sizes along with establishing face and construct validity, factor analysis, and testing of internal consistency for the ABASA.


Art Therapy

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Number of Pages