Reasons for Living and Visual Construct Choices as Related to Suicide Risk of Inpatient Adolescents

Graduation Date

Spring 2005

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

Doris Arrington, EdD, ATR-BC


This study used the Reasons for Living Inventory for Adolescents (RFL-A) and the Arrington Visual Preference Test (AVPT) to explore reasons for living and visual preferences of adolescent inpatients at risk for suicide. The potential of the RFL-A and AVPT as screening instruments for suicide risk were examined. The participants^, level of reasons for living was measured by the RFL-A, and compared to visual construct choices as determined by the AVPT. Participants consisted of 8 males and 12 females in a hospital adolescent crisis unit. Results showed that Feminine and Transformation constructs were equally most preferred and Transformation constructs were least preferred among all participants. However, among the high-risk group (n = 8) results were statistically significant at the .05 level where Feminine constructs were the 1st ranked most preferred being selected 75% of the time. Most preferred and least preferred symbols are discussed in relation to their importance in psychological life and reasons for living.

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