The Importance of Craft in Public Health 

In the Fall of 2021, CraftNOW posed the question of how arts programming impacts communities based on the new summer camp collaboration with Philadelphia’s Department of Parks and Recreation.  In response, students Kayla Erickson, Yuenyee Leung, Afesumeh, and Chinua Ezike of Drexel University’s School of Public Health conducted research on “specific expressive arts interventions for promoting positive youth development and preventing problematic behaviors in youth from urban, low socioeconomic neighborhoods.”

Deliverables from their research included the presentations and literature references below.

The Importance of CraftNOW

Literature Review

Literature Review with Hyperlinks when Available 


1) Impact of Adolescent and Young Adult Civic Engagement on Health and Socioeconomic Status in Adulthood by Parissa J. Ballard, Lindsay T. Hoyt, & Mark C. Pachucki.


2) The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth: Findings from Four Longitudinal Studies by James S. Catteral.


3) Is Socioeconomic Status in Early Life Associated with Drug Use? A Systematic Review of the Evidence by J.Z Daniel, M. Hickman, J. Macleod, N. Wiles, A.N.N.E Lingford-Hughes, G. Lewis.

4)Disentangling the Relationship between Delinquency and Hyperactivity, Low Achievement, Depression, and Low Socioeconomic Status: Analysis of Repeated Longitudinal Data by Ivy N. Defoe, David P. Farrington, and Rolf Loeber. 


5) Adolescents’ Accounts of Growth Experiences in Youth Activities. Journal of Youth and Adolescence by Jodi B. Dworkin, Reed Larson, and David Hansen.


6) The Changing Distribution of Poverty in Philadelphia by Mike Shields

7) Arts Education and Positive Youth Development: Cognitive, Behavioral, and Social Outcomes of Adolescents who Study the Arts by Kenneth Elpus.


8) What is the Evidence on the Role of the Arts in Improving Health and Well-being? A scoping Review by Daisy Fancourt and Saorise Finn.


9) Effects of an Expressive Art Intervention with Urban Youth in Low-Income Neighborhoods.

10) Effectiveness of Arts Interventions to Reduce Mental Health Related Stigma among Youth: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

11) Do After School Programs Reduce Delinquency?

12) Becoming Somebody! How Arts Programs Support Positive Identity for Middle School Girls.

13) A Study of an After-School Art Program and Critical Thinking.

14) The Rise of Creative Youth Development.

15) Shaping Places through Art. The Role of Creative Placemaking in Philadelphia.

16) Arts in Education: A Systematic Review of Competency Outcomes in Quasi -Experimental and Experimental Studies by Verna Schneider and Anette Rohmann.

17) Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 1996 Update on Violence.

18) The Connection between Art, Healing, and Public Health: A Review of Current Literature by Heather L. Stuckey and Jeremy Nobel.

19) Using Arts-Based Therapies to Improve Mental Health for Children and Young People with Physical Health Long-Term Conditions: A Systematic Review of Effectiveness by Sarah Wigham, Patricia Watts, Ania Zubala, Sharmila Jandial, Jane Bourne, and Simon Hackett.

20) Effects of a Structured Arts Program on the Psychosocial Functioning of Youth from Low-Income Communities: Findings from a Canadian Longitudinal Study.