Thesis Title

Visual Construct Choices of Incarcerated Women

Graduation Date

Spring 1995

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 descriptive and correlational (Salkind, 1991) study explores the visual construct preferences of adult women who were incarcerated in a west coast correctional facility. The selected visual constructs were presented as part of an instrument, the Arrington Visual Preference Test (AVPT). A frequency distribution ranking technique was used to determine and compare the visual construct preferences. Data was collected from the AVPT. a demographic survey and a review of the literature.

The study determined that the two top ranked most-preferred symbols chosen by incarcerated women in this study were also chosen as most- preferred symbols by the high functioning, socially active women in Arrington s (1986) original research and the adolescent drug abusers in Hayes (1994) research. This research supports the outcome in Arrington s (1986) research that emphasizes the universal feminine qualities of all women.

There is a need for future research on the AVPT to determine if it is sensitive to cultural and class differences