Creation is an important part of many interventions in creative arts therapies (art, music, dance, and drama therapy). This active part of art-making in arts therapies has not yet been closely investigated. The present study commits to this field of research using a mixed-methods design to investigate the effects of active creation on health-related psychological outcomes. In an artistic inquiry within an experimental design, N
= 44 participants engaged in active art-making for eight minutes in the presence of the researcher (first author) with a choice of artistic materials: paper and colors for drawing and writing, musical instruments, space for moving or performing. Before and after the creation, participants completed a well-being, a self-efficacy and an experience of creation scale, and in addition found their own words to express the experiences during the activity. We hypothesized that the experience of empowerment, freedom, impact, and creativity (Experience of Creation Scale) mediates the positive effect of active creation on the outcomes of self-efficacy and well-being, and evaluated this assumption with a mediation analysis. Results suggest that the effect of active creation on both self-efficacy and well-being is significantly mediated by the Experience of Creation Scale. This article focuses on the quantitative side of the investigation. During the process, qualitative and quantitative results were triangulated for a more valid evaluation and jointly contribute to the emerging theory frame of embodied aesthetics.
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