Thesis Title

Measuring the Validity of the DAP-SF Using the Draw-a-Person Projective Drawing to Assess Self-Seteem in Latino Adolescents

Graduation Date

Spring 1999

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


Elaine L. Cohen, EdD

First Reader

Richard Carolan, EdD, ATR-BC

Second Reader

Arnell Etherington, PhD, MFT, ATR-BC


The purpose of this study is to determine the validity of the Draw-A-Person School Form (DAP-SF) as a measure of self-esteem. Identified variables from the DAP-SF were compared to the Coopersmith Self-esteem Inventory School Form (SEI-SF). It was hypothesized that the DAP-SF would correlate positively with the SEI- SF. Thirty 5th- and 6th-grade male and female Latino students participated in this correlation study. They were first administered the Self-esteem Inventory School Form (SEI-SF) to determine levels of global self-esteem and were then asked to draw a person. The drawings were scored by two raters using the DAP-SF. These scores were correlated individually and collectively to the SEI-SF scores. As a whole females scored higher than males on the SEI-SF and DAP-SF. Individuals in an intervention-based program scored higher on the SEI-SF and the DAP-SF than those individuals who had no intervention. Individuals who self-identified as Mexican American scored higher on the SEI-SF and the DAP-SF than those individuals who self-identified as Latinos. Based on SEI scores ranging from 38-100, three levels of self-esteem were established: high self-esteem (HSE) 64-100, moderate self-esteem (MSE) 56-64, and low self-esteem 38-54 (LSE). MSE subjects obtained the highest scores on the DAP-SF scales.

This researcher found that there was a weak negative correlation between the SEI-SF and DAP-SF.