Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Robert E. Nelson, EdD, Chair; Edward Kujawa Jr., PhD; Pete Peterson, EdD


art education, community colleges, disabled adult students, education, higher education, self-concept


This study examined the effect of art education on self-concept of disabled adult students in a community college setting. An experimental, pretest-posttest, control group design was utilized to carry out the study. The treatment provided was a college art class involving painting, clay sculpturing, and drawing. The null hypothesis tested was that art education has no effect on self-concept in disabled adult students. The alternative hypothesis was that art education improves self-concept in disabled adult students. A non-replacement random sample of 30 participants from a population of 250 disabled adult volunteers was selected and divided into an experimental and a control group. Subjects were predominantly white, with a mean age of 35, 60% male and 40% female. Participants included adults with developmental, learning, and physical disabilities. The study took place from August, 1988, to January, 1989 with the experimental group participating in a one semester art education class. The instrument used was the Tennessee Self-Concept Scale (TSCS). The methodology involved administration of the TSCS as a pretest and posttest to both the experimental and control groups. T-tests were done comparing gain scores of the two groups with statistical significance established a priori at the alpha.05 level. The TSCS total self-concept gain scores were used to ascertain hypothesis acceptance or rejection. Gains in global scores of internal and external dimensions of self-concept and individual self-concept factor gain scores were also analyzed via t-test to further support hypothesis acceptance or rejection. Results of the study yielded rejection of the null hypothesis in favor of the alternative hypothesis. The TSCS total self-concept score, both internal and external dimension global scores, and six of the eight individual self-concept factor scores were statistically significant in favor of the experimental group. The self-concept factor of identity was not statistically significant and the factor of social self was statistically significant in favor of the control group. Interviews of students and study staff upon conclusion of the experiment provided additional informal data for triangulation which gave support to the research findings. Conclusions, implications for leadership in postsecondary settings, and recommendations for further research are provided.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access