Emotional indicators in human figure drawings of sexually victimized and nonabused children

Roberta Ann Hibbard, Georgia L. Hartman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Scopus citations


A study was conducted to compare the presence of Koppitz' Emotional Indicators (EIs) and EI Categories in human figures drawn (HFDs) by alleged sexual abuse victims (ASAVs) and nonabused children. We collected drawings from 65 ASAVs and 64 comparison (presumably nonabused) subjects. No statistically significant differences in the presence of individual EIs were observed. Alleged sexual abuse victims tended to draw some indicators mor often: 'legs pressed together', 'big hands', and 'genitals'. It also was observed that more 'normal' children expected drew some indicators, which suggests the possible need for revision of the definition of some indicators, specifically 'omission of body'. The ASAVs more often scored an EI from the anxiety category (p = .05) than did comparison children. No significant differences in other categories were demonstrated. It was concluded that drawings from ASAVs demonstrated anxiety more often than did drawings from comparison hildren, while specific indicators did not differ between groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-219
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology

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