Assessing for Depression in Children with Severe Behavioral Disorders Using Kinetic-Tree-Person Drawings
Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy
Degree Granting Institution
Notre Dame de Namur University
This research uses the Kinetic-House-Tree-Person drawing to assess for depression in children with severe behavioral disorders. Many children with behavioral disorders are not assessed for depression although research has shown that many of these children fit the criteria for major depression or dysthymia (Cole and Carpentieri, 1990). This research compares the drawings of 29 children with severe behavioral disorders with the drawings of 22 children in a control group. Findings are that children with behavioral disorders show more depressive indicators in drawings than do their non-diagnosed peers. Drawings by children with behavioral disorders score an average of 4 points on the rating sheet while drawings by the control group score a mean of 2.318 points. This difference is found to be statistically significant by the t-test at the 0.05 level. Indications are that Kinetic-House-Tree-Person drawings can be used to assess for depression in children with severe behavioral disorders.