Rorschach human and quasi-human imagery: Development of object relations
Moore-Marshall, Doris Louise
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Current research has focused on patterns of object relations in different diagnostic groups, primarily with psychiatric patients in the adolescent and adult age ranges. The purpose of the present study was to observe human object representation in Rorschach responses with regard to its ability to differentiate psychodynamically within samples of normal and emotionally disturbed school children in the age ranges from latency to preadolescence.;The normal subjects were 63 public school children, with 30 subjects in the age ranges 6 through 10, and 33 subjects in the age ranges 11 through 12. Emotionally disturbed subjects were 69 public school children referred for classes for the Emotionally Handicapped.;It was predicted that in normal development from early latency to preadolescence there would be an increase in well-differentiated, articulated and integrated human figures with more constructive, and mutual interactions. Children 11-12 were predicted to produce more realistic figures than children 6-10. Also predicted was a sex difference in the normal children in the Rorschach human responses given. In addition, a difference was predicted between Rorschach responses of normal and disturbed children of the same ages. These hypotheses were tested by applying the Blatt structural and Spear and Sugarman thematic scale to Rorschach human figure responses for each subject. The data were analyzed statistically both across and within each subject group. The results indicated that latency aged children do not produce evidence of a linear development in object relations as measured by these scales. However, female subjects indicated significantly more advanced percepts as measured by these scales than males. The results confirmed that significant differences existed between normal and disturbed groups in their capacity for object representation, and that both the scales and methodology under consideration are useful measures for exploring these differences. Theoretically, the results suggested the clinical usefulness of structural/affective concepts in furthering the understanding of the psychodynamic basis of object relations. Specific suggestions were offered for future research possibilities and for alternate methodological approaches to exploring these concepts.