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House-Tree-Person and Draw-A-Person as Measures of Abuse in Children: A Quantitative Scoring System

Valerie Van Hutton, PhD

Evaluates possible child sexual abuse
Paper and pencil, Book
Age range:
7 years to 11 years
Qualification level:
All qualifications for Level B plus an advanced professional degree that provides appropriate training in the administration and interpretation of psychological tests, or license or certification from an agency that requires appropriate training and experience in the ethical and competent use of psychological tests. Close

This hardcover book provides background on projective drawing techniques and insight into the House-Tree-Person (H-T-P) and Draw-A-Person (D-A-P) techniques. The book describes the development and administration of an objective scoring system for use by clinicians, teachers, and other professionals.

The test administrator asks the child (ages 7–11 years) to complete the two drawings, which are then scored for the presence or absence of particular characteristics within four major constructs: Preoccupation with Sexually Relevant Concepts (SRC); Aggression and Hostility (AH); Withdrawal and Guarded Accessibility (WGA); and Alertness for Danger, Suspiciousness, and Lack of Trust (ADST).

Examples from the author's collection of actual children's drawings illustrate item scoring. This system has been empirically tested for use in screening for possible child sexual abuse. Case examples help the reader develop further clinical insight.