The symbolic content in adults' PPAT as related to attachment styles and achievement motivation

Michal Bat Or, Rafi Ishai, Narkis Levi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study inquired into the symbolic content of PPAT (Gantt, 1990) in young adults aged 20-35 years as related to their attachment and achievement motivation. Symbolic contents in the drawings were measured by SC-PPAT/a: Symbolic Contents in PPAT/adults (Bat Or, Ishai, & Levi, 2014b), which codes content aspects of the drawn objects (person, tree, and person-tree relations). Attachment dimensions were measured by a self-reported questionnaire, experiences in close relationships scale (ECR) (Brennan, Clark, & Shaver, 1998); achievement motivation was measured by the achievement goals questionnaire (Elliot & Church, 1997). Although no significant correlations were found between SC-PPAT/a with the validating variables, meaningful associations were found after splitting the sample into attachment groups. For example, secure individuals tended to draw a coherent script of reciprocal relationships between person, tree, and apple/s that eased the picking task for the person, while insecure individuals tended to depict a mixed picture, containing contradicted contents with non-cooperating relations between the objects. Negative PPAT content aspects were found as related with performance goal and performance avoidance orientations within specific attachment groups. The results are discussed in light of attachment theory, projective drawings, and their implications to art therapy and art-based assessment research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-60
Number of pages12
JournalArts in Psychotherapy
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Attachment
  • Motivation
  • PPAT
  • Symbolic contents
  • Young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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