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Representations of Attachment Patterns in the Family Drawings of Maltreated and Non-Maltreated Children

NCJ Number
Child Abuse Review Volume: 21 Issue: 3 Dated: May-June 2012 Pages: 203-218
Monica Shiakou
Date Published
June 2012
16 pages
This study examined the differences in attachment styles between maltreated and non-maltreated children as revealed by the family drawing technique.
The study was conducted to investigate and compare the attachment styles of maltreated and non-maltreated children through the use of the family drawing technique. The sample consisted of 10 maltreated and 10 non-maltreated children between the ages of 5 and 11. The findings revealed that the maltreated children depicted significantly more items in their drawings linked to an insecure attachment pattern than non-maltreated children, while the non-maltreated children made use of significantly more drawing features linked to a secure attachment pattern. These results corresponded to scores on the Child Behavior Checklist (Achenbach, 1991). All maltreated children scored in the clinical range. The family drawings of maltreated children significantly evidenced a greater distress - represented by an insecure attachment pattern - than the drawings of non-maltreated children represented by a secure attachment style. (Published Abstract)