The use of the Machover Draw-A-Person test in detecting adult survivors of sexual abuse: A pilot study

Rachel Lev-Wiesel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

This pilot study investigates common indicators in human figure drawings done by adults who had been sexually abused during childhood. The Machover Draw-A-Person test was administered to three clinical groups: (1) ten women, recruited from a family therapy center, who had been sexually abused in childhood; (2) ten men, recruited from a rehabilitation center for substance abuse, who had been abused as children; and (3) ten men and ten women who had been neither sexually nor physically abused. This third group served as the control. Results showed differences between those participants who had been sexually abused and those who had not in four indicators of the DAP drawings: face line (double, hollow, or shaded chin or cheek); eyes (dot/hollowed/shaded/omitted); hands and arms (clinging/detached/cut off/omitted); and genitals (shaded, blocked off from rest of body). The test shows promise as a clinical instrument for detecting adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-112
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Art Therapy
Volume37
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 May 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions (all)
  • Clinical Biochemistry

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