Thesis Title

Fairytales and Therapy: Using Fairytales in Assessing for Child Abuse

Graduation Date

Spring 1997

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


Child abuse claimed more than 1 million children as victims in 1994. The statistics of reported child abuse are rising every year and many of the social workers and therapists evaluating these victims are overloaded. This pilot study evaluates whether fairytales may be used in assessing for child abuse. A correlational study was conducted using children from both abused and non-abused backgrounds. All subjects completed six sessions, using directives revolving around fairytales. While statistically inconclusive due to the small sample size and short duration, marked differences were noted between the two groups. Accordingly, further research may be valuable if conclusive evidence could result in a non-intrusive assessment as well as continuing therapy with fairytales.