Thesis Title

Sexual Abuse Indicators in Kinetic Family Drawings

Graduation Date

Fall 1996

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 uses the Kinetic Family Drawing to assess for sexual abuse indicators in children. A long standing problem exists with the assessment of sexually abused children. Research has shown the KFD to be an effective projective tool for assessing family interpersonal relationships. This study compares the drawings of 15 children identified by a human services agency in the San Francisco Bay area as sexually abused and 15 children in a control group. Findings are that children who have been victims of sexual abuse show more sex abuse indicators than control group of peers. Indicators by Burns, (1982) and a set of indicators of sexual abuse found in recent KFD and abuse research were used. Drawings by identified children score an average mean score of 24.6, while drawings by a control group scored a mean of 6.3. Indications are that Kinetic Family Drawings can be used successfully to assess for sexual abuse.