Thesis Title

In the Bird's Nest: Birth Orders Influence on the Art

Graduation Date

Spring 2016

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy

Degree Granting Institution

Notre Dame de Namur University

Program Name

Art Therapy


John Lemmon, PhD

First Reader

Jennifer Myers Harrison, PsyD, ATR-BC

Second Reader

Lynnaia Keune, MFT, ATR-BC


The impact of birth order on attachment style was examined in emerging adults through the use of Kaiser’s bird nest drawing (1996); an art therapy assessment tool in conjunction with Simpson’s Attachment Index (1990). Due to the small sample size (n=45) distributed across three birth orders (oldest/only, middle, youngest) the findings were unable to yield statistical significance. The KBND when used in comparison with the AI was able to accurately determine attachment style. The drawings produced by each ordinal group exhibited traits that have been attributed to their ordinal position in the family constellation. The statistical trends found in previous bird’s nests studies in regards to themes, image elements, image situation, image composition, and image coloration was evident in this study.