First Advisor

Charles Klein

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Anthropology and University Honors




Schizophrenia -- Treatment, Schizoaffective disorders -- Treatment, Art therapy, Social interaction, Self-actualization (Psychology)




In my research I investigate how art can be used to facilitate the self-actualization and social integration of individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders. Through four in depth interviews with artists diagnosed with schizophrenia, and two interviews with art gallery owners, I examine how social barriers and stigmas regarding schizophrenia can be challenged through creating art and utilizing art spaces. In these accounts, participants provide narratives of resilience through creative expression and the socially transformative potential of community art galleries. I use these personal accounts to expand on the existing discourses of the relationship between art, community, and mental health. I illustrate the importance of non-verbal creative expression for individuals with schizophrenia and how this can be applied to further efforts to reduce barriers and promote positive cultural narratives regarding schizophrenia. My findings provide preliminary data for the implementation of programs which effectively integrate the mental health and art community, and an opportunity for my participants to engage socially and advocate for themselves.


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