Thesis Title

Pediatric Leukemia Patients: Their Family Relations and Significant Artistic Symbols

Graduation Date

Spring 1990

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


This research project explored the art products of three leukemia children between the ages of five and eleven. It focused on how children with a catastrophic disease nonverbally communicate their views of their family’s dynamic and their concerns surrounding their disease through the use of symbols, color and page placement. Art techniques utilized were the Kinetic Family Draw (K-F-D), Draw A Person (D-A-P), and Spontaneous Draw. The hypotheses of themes of overt anger, isolation of self figure in the K-F-D, and representational disease symbol were not supported in the work of the three leukemia children. Interpretation and implications forfuther research are discussed.