Schrade et al. (2011) Physiological Effects of Mandala Making in Adults with Intellectual Disability

literature type:

journal article


Crystal Schrade, Loel Tronsky, and Donna H. Kaiser. The Arts in Psychotherapy. 2011; Vol. 38, No. 2: pp 109–113.


This study investigated mandala making as an effective physiological stress reducer for individuals with intellectual disability. Stress levels were measured using systolic and diastolic blood pressure and pulse. Participants (N = 15) engaged in three activities, serving as their own controls: mandala making, free drawing and a neutral control condition. Findings revealed no significant differences in changes in stress measures across the three conditions, however, t-tests of blood pressure change in the mandala making condition indicated a statistically significant reduction in both diastolic and systolic pressure between the first and third reading; similar differences were not found in the other two conditions. These findings suggest that mandala making is an effective stress reducer for those with intellectual disability, however, evidence does not show it is more effective than the control conditions. Suggestions for future research are discussed.


arts categories:


population(s) served:

special needs