Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Michelle Napoli


Ageism is a prevalent, yet overlooked, force of prejudice in American society, which is precipitated by the widespread institutionalized segregation of individuals among their age groups. Older adults may experience feelings of isolation and worthlessness as they undergo major life changes that disrupt their former sense of self, such as retirement or movement into an assisted living facility. This literature review discusses the significance of applying intergenerational arts-based experiences for older adults with those of a younger generation. While both art therapy and intergenerational programs have shown to benefit older adults, there remains a gap in the literature of applying a combination of the two. The findings of past studies indicate that using art intergenerationally helps address ageism in society by exposing those of a younger generation to those in an older generation, and thereby addressing preconceived stereotypes. Intergenerational programs provide an opportunity for older adults to connect to their community and lift them out of isolation. Such programs also aid several areas of mental health for older adults, such as fostering their sense of identity, providing alternate and supplementary forms of communication, building new skills to serve life-long learning, and alleviating symptoms of depression.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




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