Thesis Title

A Blind Study Using the House-Tree-Person Test to Determine Birth Order

Graduation Date

Spring 2000

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

Gwen Sanders, MFT, ART-BC


This research study investigates the relationship between indicators in the House-Tree- Person projective drawing test and sibling positioning. In all, twenty-five subjects were administered the HTP drawing assessment, thirteen first born and twelve last born subjects. The rating sheets were used with a checklist of indicators of first born and last born. Characteristics of first and last born were established based on previous literature. The rating sheet included identifying indicators and characteristics found in the drawings of first born or last born individuals. Two raters trained in Art Therapy rated the HTP drawings. Indicators and characteristics of birth order found in the HTP can be used to determine if a subject is first born or last born. The indicators the raters hypothesized for first born subjects were eleven out of thirteen subjects. The indicators the raters hypothesized for last born subjects were six out of twelve subjects. Results demonstrated a positive correlation between HTP birth order indicators and true birth order. This study contributes as an adjunct to other assessments on birth order.