Thesis Title

Measuring the Validity of F.E.A.T.S Using the Apple Tree Projective Drawing with Children Diagnosed with ADHA

Graduation Date

Spring 2004

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy

Degree Granting Institution

Notre Dame de Namur University

Program Name

Art Therapy


Lizbeth Martin, PhD

First Reader

Richard Carolan, EdD, ATR-BC

Second Reader

Gwen Sanders, MFT, ART-BC


This is a study to explore the difference in drawing patterns between the experimental group, children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), but not yet pharmacologically treated, and the control group children of matched age who do not have the disorder, when the Formal Elements Art Therapy Scale (FEATS), is applied to their drawing of “A person picking an apple from a tree” (PPAT). The intent is to determine if the PPAT when used in conjunction with the FEATS can be a valid and reliable assessment of ADHD in children.

Twenty six children, 13 in the experimental group and 13 in the control group, ranging in age form eight to 13 years, took part in this correlational study. A total of 26 PPAT’s were evaluated using the FEATS. Linda Gantt and Carmello Tabone created the FEATS to provide clinicians and researchers with a standardized design and a sound scientific method of studying the drawing. The FEATS is an objective, valid and reliable instrument which measures various elements of form and content, like prominence of color, implied energy, line quality and the amount of detail in the environment (Gantt and Tabone, 1998).

Three raters using the FEATS in conjunction with the PPAT scored the drawings. The scores were correlated using a t-matching correlational formula. Statistical results below those considered valid rendered the results of the study inconclusive.