Date of Award

Spring 2022

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Psychology and Human Rights

First Advisor

Dina Anselmi


Reentry and prison arts programs provide an opportunity for rehabilitation that facilitates healthier emotion regulation (ER), relationship building, and self-esteem. To measure the effects of arts-based interventions on ER, formerly incarcerated people completed a questionnaire that included three different measures: the Cognitive Emotion Regulation Questionnaire Short-Form (CERQ-Short), the Emotion Regulation Strategies for Artistic Creative Activities (ERS-ACA), and the Self-expression and Emotion Regulation in Art Therapy Scale (SERATS). Results showed that there were significant differences between males and females on their scores on ER subscales, where women more often than men employed positive ER strategies. In support of my hypotheses, higher scores on positive ER strategies on the CERQ-Short, predicted higher scores on positive ER strategies measured by the ERS-ACA. Conversely, the tendency of a participant to utilize maladaptive ER strategies measured by the CERQ-Short led to lower scores on measures of positive ER strategies measured by the ERS-ACA. Furthermore, all arts participants were found to more often utilize positive reappraisal, an ER strategy believed to foster long-term cognitive benefits, over positive refocusing (distraction). Finally, there was no significant difference found between the more years spent in a prison arts program, and higher scores on positive ER measures. The study suggests that there are promising effects of arts programs of ER for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated populations. Further research can hopefully determine whether positive ER strategies can reduce recidivism rates.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College Hartford CT for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Human Rights.