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December 2021

Attachment-based classifications of children's family drawings: Psychometric properties and relations with children's adjustment in kindergarten

Author(s): Longmaid, K., Ferguson, J. E.

Journal/Book: J Clin Child Psychol. 1999; 28: 10 Industrial Ave, Mahwah, NJ 07430-2262, USA. Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc Inc. 244-255.

Abstract: Investigated an attachment-based theoretical framework and classification system, introduced by Kaplan and Main (1986), for interpreting children's family drawings. This study concentrated on the psychometric properties of the system and the relation between drawings classified using this system and teacher ratings of classroom social-emotional and behavioral functioning, controlling for child age, ethnic status, intelligence, and fine motor skills. This nonclinical sample consisted of 200 kindergarten children of diverse racial and socioeconomic status (SES). Limited support for reliability of this classification system was obtained. Kappas for overall classifications of drawings (e.g., secure) exceeded. 80 and mean kappa for discrete drawing features (e.g., figures with smiles) was .82. Coders' endorsement of the presence of certain discrete drawing features predicted their overall classification at 82.5% accuracy. Drawing classification was related to teacher ratings of classroom functioning independent of child age, sex, race, SES, intelligence, and fine motor skills (with p values for the multivariate effects ranging from .043-.001). Results are discussed in terms of the psychometric properties of this system for classifying children's representations of family and the limitations of family drawing techniques for young children.

Note: Article Pianta RC, Univ Virginia, Curry Sch Educ, POB 9051, Charlottesville,VA 22906 USA


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