Children's human figure drawings do not measure intellectual ability

Willcock, Emma, Imuta, Kana and Hayne, Harlene (2011) Children's human figure drawings do not measure intellectual ability. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 110 3: 444-452. doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2011.04.013

Author Willcock, Emma
Imuta, Kana
Hayne, Harlene
Title Children's human figure drawings do not measure intellectual ability
Journal name Journal of Experimental Child Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0022-0965
Publication date 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jecp.2011.04.013
Volume 110
Issue 3
Start page 444
End page 452
Total pages 9
Place of publication Maryland Heights, MO, United States
Publisher Academic Press
Language eng
Abstract Children typically follow a well-defined series of stages as they learn to draw, but the rate at which they progress through these stages varies from child to child. Some experts have argued that these individual differences in drawing development reflect individual differences in intelligence. Here we assessed the validity of a drawing test that is commonly used to assess children’s intellectual abilities. In a single study, 125 5- and 6-year-olds completed the Draw-A-Person: A Quantitative Scoring System (DAP:QSS) and the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-Revised (WPPSI-R) or the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI). Although there was a statistically significant correlation between scores on the DAP:QSS and scores on the Wechsler tests, when the scores of individual children were examined, the DAP:QSS yielded a high number of false positives and false negatives for low intellectual functioning. We conclude that the DAP:QSS is not a valid measure of intellectual ability and should not be used as a screening tool.
Keyword Human figure drawing
Clinical assessment tool
Intelligence tests
Projective techniques
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Psychology Publications
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Created: Fri, 15 Nov 2013, 11:06:25 EST by Kana Imuta on behalf of School of Psychology