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AN ANALYSIS OF HUMAN FIGURE AND KINETIC FAMILY DRAWINGS OF SEXUALLY ABUSED CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS

DEBORAH ANNE CHASE, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Abstract

The Human Figure Drawings (HFDs) of 34 female subjects, ages 5-16, who experienced incest were compared with the HFDs of 26 matched emotionally disturbed subjects and 34 matched subjects with no known adjustment difficulties to determine if children or adolescents who had experienced sexual abuse exhibit significant features in their drawings when compared with non-sexually abused subjects. The Sidun and Chase Human Figure Drawing Coding Manual was used to evaluate the HFDs. Of 76 measures analyzed when the sexually abused subjects were compared with the emotionally disturbed subjects, hands omitted, fingers omitted, clothing omitted, presence of phallic like objects and differences in developmental scores were significant. When the sexually abused subjects were compared with the subjects with no known adjustment difficulties and the same 76 measures analyzed, presence of large circular eyes, mouth emphasized, long neck, arms omitted, hands omitted, fingers omitted, clothing omitted, presence of phallic like objects, sexuality of figure undifferentiated and differences in developmental score were significant.^ The Kinetic Family Drawings of 27 female subjects, ages 5-16, who experienced incest were compared with the KFDs of 21 matched emotionally disturbed subjects and 37 matched subjects with no known adjustment difficulties to determine if children or adolescents who had experienced sexual abuse exhibit significant features in their drawings when compared with non-sexually abused subjects. The Chase and Sidun Kinetic Family Drawing Coding Manual was used to evaluate the KFDs. Of 70 measures analyzed when the sexually abused subjects were compared with the emotionally disturbed subjects, figure encapsulated was significant. When the sexually abused subjects were compared with the subjects with no known adjustment difficulties and the same 70 measures analyzed, nurturance of the self, nurturance of mother and size of siblings were significant.^ The results suggest that HFDs discriminate sexually abused subjects from the non-abused subjects better than the KFDs. Significant features, particularly in the HFDs, appear to be clinically relevant. Additional research should be conducted comparing the HFDs and KFDs of sexually abused subjects with other measures. This study is a pilot study and should be replicated to further validate its findings. ^

Subject Area

Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

CHASE, DEBORAH ANNE, "AN ANALYSIS OF HUMAN FIGURE AND KINETIC FAMILY DRAWINGS OF SEXUALLY ABUSED CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS" (1987). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI8710434.
http://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations/AAI8710434

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