Creative Role Identity: Implications for Self-Concept, Depression, and Anxiety

Publication Date



Creativity is most often referred to in the context of artistic domains and yet, in reality, creativity influences all alternative thought processes and innovative thinking. Researchers in the field of psychology have paid little attention to research within the realm of creativity, although this trend is changing. In particular, prior research has noted that creative artists tend to have higher rates of depression and anxiety than their non-artist counterparts. Understanding contributing factors to these high rates may prevent, or direct more appropriate interventions that reduce anxiety and depression in artists. The purpose of this study was to explore how the extent to which the artist is enmeshed with the art form influences the development of self-concept, anxiety and depression. Another aim of this study was to expand on the existing body of literature via exploration of differences between artists and non-artist groups by hypothesizing that artists would be more at risk for anxiety, depression, impaired creative self-efficacy, and impaired creative self-concept. Seventeen artists and 17 non-artists participated in this study via convenience sampling. Study findings indicated that, while artists and non-artists differ with respect to creative self-concept and creative role identity, they were not significantly different in terms of self-efficacy, depression, and anxiety. Further, contrary to the stated hypotheses, creative role identity was not significantly correlated with depression, anxiety, or creative self-concept. Creative role identity was, however, significantly correlated with self-efficacy; the implication of which may be that creative artists with strong creative role identities may better identify their creative potential, lending to increased resilience.

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology (PhD)

First Advisor

Strawn, Brad

Document Type





Personality and creative ability, Artists, Self-perception, Self-esteem, Depression, Anxiety




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