PSYCH  Vol.5 No.19 , December 2014
The “Colour Family Drawing Test”: A Comparison between Children of “Harmonious” or “Very Conflictual Families”
ABSTRACT
The “Colour Family Drawing Test” applied a classification of colours on an emotional basis leading to the distinction between “Alarming and Serious” (black, grey, violet, olive-green, dark blue, red, yellow) and “Reassuring and Playful” hues (pink, sky blue, orange and pastel colours). 120 participants (aged 7 - 10 years, both genders), attending Rome primary schools, were individually examined. They sat at a table with a white A4 card, 24 colour pencils, a black pencil, an eraser and received the instruction: “Draw your family”. The research objective concerns the introduction of colours and the evaluation of emotional meaning of the colours used by children in drawing their families. The families had been preliminarily evaluated as Harmonious or Very Conflictual Families through a semi-structural interview conducted with the children’s teachers. The drawings made by children of Harmonious Families consistently used reassuring, playful colours (p < 0.01); children of Conflictual Families used alarming, serious colours (p < 0.01). The parents also compiled the LDM Inventory, in order to have a confirmation of their level of psychological conflict. 33 “Very harmonious” parents and 22 “Very Conflictual” parents were selected. A comparison revealed that N/H scores were significantly lower in parents of Very Conflictual Families compared to the opposite ones (t53 = 2.95; p < 0.01). Conflictual Parents do not develop harmonious interpersonal relations, preferring overt aggression, with particular consequences for the family’s emotional atmosphere and for the children’s personality.

Cite this paper
Biasi, V. , Bonaiuto, P. & Levin, J. (2014). The “Colour Family Drawing Test”: A Comparison between Children of “Harmonious” or “Very Conflictual Families”. Psychology, 5, 2099-2108. doi: 10.4236/psych.2014.519212.
References
[1]   Abegg, W. (1973). Der Familientest. Zurich: Werner Classen.

[2]   Arnheim, R. (1954). Art and Visual Perception. Berkeley: University of California Press.

[3]   Arnheim, R. (1964). From Function to Expression. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 1, 29-41.
http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/428136

[4]   Appel, L. (1931). Drawings of Children as Aids to Personality Study. American Journal of Orthopsycology, 10, 815-828.

[5]   Biasi, V., & Bonaiuto, P. (1997a). Colour and the Experimental Representation of Stress and Comfort. In L. Sivik (Ed.), Colour & Psychology (pp. 54-65). Stockholm: Scandinavian Colour Institute.

[6]   Biasi, V., & Bonaiuto, P. (1997b). Aesthetic Level of Drawings Made under Conditions of Emotional Activation. In L. Dorfman, C. Martindale, D. Leontiev, G. Cupchik, V. Petrov, & P. Machotka (Eds.), Emotion, Creativity and Art (pp. 319-348). Perm: Perm State Institute of Arts & Culture.

[7]   Biasi, V., & Bonaiuto, P. (2005). Experimental Graphic-Pictorial Representation of Harmonious or Conflictual Parent-Child Relations. Rome: Università di Roma “La Sapienza”.

[8]   Biasi, V., & Bonaiuto, P. (2006). The Graphic-Pictorial Language of Stress (Conflict) and Comfort (Agreement) in Fairy Tale Illustrations. In H. Gottesdierner, & J.C. Vilatte (Eds.), Culture and Communication (pp. 473-477). Avignon: IAEA.

[9]   Bonaiuto, P. (1965). Table to Frame and Foresee the “Field Effects” and Dynamics of Phenomenal Qualities. Giornale di Psichiatria e Neuropatologia, 42, 1443-1685.

[10]   Bonaiuto, P. (1978). Linear Forms and Coloured Bands. A Reactive for Evaluating the Capacity to Perceive Visual Expressiveness. Rome: “Sapienza” University of Rome.

[11]   Bonaiuto, P., Giannini, A. M., & Biasi, V. (2003). Perception Theories and the Environmental Experience. In M. Bonnes, T. Lee, & M. Bonaiuto (Eds.), Psychological Theories for Environmental Issues (pp. 95-136). Aldershot: Ashgate.

[12]   Bonaiuto, P., Giannini, A. M., Biasi, V., Miceu Romano, M., & Bonaiuto, M. (1997). Visual Defense or Facilitation Processes Favoured by Alarming or Playful Colours. In C. M. Dikinson, J. Murray, & D. Carden (Eds.), John Dalton Color Vision Legacy (pp. 723-731). London: Taylor & Francis.

[13]   Cain, J., & Gomilla, J. (1953). Le dessin de la famille chez l’enfant, critére de classification (The Infant’s Family Drawing: Classification Criteria). Annales Médico-Psychologiques, 5, 502-506.

[14]   Comunian, A. L. (1984). Contributo allo studio sperimentale delle tecniche proiettive: Dinamiche emerse dall’applicazione dell’analisi dei cluster al disegno della famiglia (Contribution to the Experimental Study of Projective Techniques: Dynamics Emerging from the Cluster Analysis of Family Drawing). Psicologia Clinica, 3, 97-119.

[15]   Comunian, A. L., Biasi, V., Giannini, A. M., & Bonaiuto, P. (2004). Psychometric Properties of the Italian Lifestyle Defence Mechanisms Inventory. In J. Mejer, & R. Oostdam (Eds.), Proceedings of the 25th Stress and Anxiety Research Society Conferente (pp. 63). Amsterdam: SCO-Kohnstamm Instituut.

[16]   Comunian, A. L., Biasi, V., Giannini, A. M., & Bonaiuto, P. (2005). The Italian Version of the Lifestyle Defense Mechanisms Inventory: A Replication of Item Equivalence with a Bilingual Sample. Paper Presented at the 9th European Congress of Psychology, Granada.

[17]   Corman, L. (1964, 19672). Le test du design de famille dans la pratique médico pédagogique (The Family Drawing Test in Medical-Pedagogical Practice). Paris: P.U.F.

[18]   Eysenck, H. J. (1941). A Critical and Experimental Study of Color Preferences. American Journal of Psychology, 54, 383-394.
http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1417683

[19]   Fernandez-Ballesteros, R., Zamarron, M. D., Ruiz, M. A., Sebastian, J., & Spielberger, C. D. (1997). Assessing Emotional Expression: Spanish Adaptation of the Rationality/Emotional Defensiveness Scale. Personality and Individual Differences, 22, 719-729.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0191-8869(96)00250-4

[20]   Fukada, N. (1958). Family Drawing by School Children. Japanese Journal of Psychology, 29, 264-267.
http://dx.doi.org/10.4992/jjpsy.29.264

[21]   Giannini, A. M., Biasi, V., & Bonaiuto, P. (1995). Un nuovo esperimento sui processi percettivi di attenuazione o risalto di anomalie strutturali, influenzati dal colore. Comunicazioni Scientifiche di Psicologia Generale, 13, 101-132.

[22]   Hippius, M. T. (1936). Graphischer Ausdruck von Gefühlen. Zeitschrift für Psychologie und Characterkunde, 51, 257-336.

[23]   Hulse, W. C. (1951). The Emotionally Disturbed Child Draw His Family. The Quarterly Child Behavior, 3, 152-174.

[24]   Krauss, R. (1930). über graphischen Ausdruck. Eine experimentelle Untersuchung über das Erzeugen und Ausdeuten von gegenstandsfreim Linien. Zeitschrift f. angewandte Psychologie, 48, 1-141.

[25]   Metzger, W. (1954). Psychologie. Darmstadt: Steinkopf.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-43003-3

[26]   Porot, M. (1952). Le dessin de la famille. Exploration par le dessin de la situation affective de le enfant dans sa famille (The Family Drawing. Exploration through Drawing of the Affective Situation of Children in Their Family). Pédiatrie, 3, 359-381.

[27]   Porot, M. (1965). Le dessin de la famille (The Family Drawing). Revue de Psychologie Appliquée, 3, 77-89.

[28]   Postman, L., Bruner, J. S., & McGinnies, E. (1948). Personal Values as Selective Factors in Perception. Journal Abnormal, Social Psychology, 43, 142-154.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/h0059765

[29]   Roe, A. E. C., Bridges, L. J., Dunn, J., & O’Connor, T. G. (2006). Young Children’s Representations of Their Families: A Longitudinal Follow-Up Study of Family Drawings by Children Living in Different Family Settings. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 30, 529-536.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0165025406072898

[30]   Scandinavian Colour Institute (2004). NCS. Natural Color System. Stockholm: Scandinavian Colour Institute.

[31]   Schafer, R., & Murphy, G. (1943). The Role of Autism in a Visual Figure-Ground Relationship. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 32, 335-343.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/h0057755

[32]   Spielberger, C. D. (1988). The Rationality/Emotional Defensivness (R/ED) Scale. Preliminare Test Manual. Tampa, FL: Center for Research in Behavioral Medicine and Health Psychology, University of South Florida.

[33]   Spielberger, C. D., & Reheiser, E. C. (2000). Lifestyle Defense Mechanisms Inventory. Tampa, FL: Center for Research in Behavioral Medicine and Health Psychology, University of South Florida.

[34]   Spigelman, G., Lungs, U., Sweden Spigelman, A., & Englesson, I. L. (1992). Analysis of Family Drawings: A Comparison between Children from Divorce Families. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, 18, 31-54.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1300/J087v18n01_02

[35]   Tambelli, R., Zavattini, G. C., & Gasperini, I. (1990). Il test del disegno della famiglia: Una rassegna critica (The Family Drawing Test: A Critical Review). Rassegna di Psicologia, 2, 77-79.

[36]   Werner, H. (1940). Comparative Psychology of Mental Development. New York: International University Press.

[37]   Zavattini, C. G., Tambelli, R., & Mossi, P. (1989). Il disegno della famiglia come strumento in psicologia clinica (The Family Drawing as a Clinical Psychology Tool). Psicologia Clinica, 2, 213-226.

 
 
Top