Use of Self-Figure Drawing as an Assessment Tool for Child Abuse: Differentiating between Sexual, Physical, and Emotional Abuse

Nisara Jaroenkajornkij, Rachel Lev-Wiesel, Bussakorn Binson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Child abuse is a worldwide phenomenon with adverse short-and long-term mental and physical negative consequences, with a huge gap between the prevalence of child abuse and disclosure rates. The study aimed to examine and validate the self-figure drawing as an assessment tool to differentiate between three forms of child abuse, i.e., child sexual abuse (CSA), child physical abuse (CPA), and child emotional abuse (CEA). Following the ethical approval, 1707 Thai children (13–18 years old) from the general population (schools) were asked to complete a self-report anon-ymous questionnaire consisting of four measures (Demographics, Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ), The Medical Somatic Dissociation Questionnaire (MSDQ), and The Disclosure of Trauma Questionnaire (DTQ)). After completion, they were asked to draw themselves. There was a significantly positive link between the reluctance to disclose and the experience of abuse, indicating that the more severe the abuse the higher the reluctance to disclose. The findings broaden the knowledge of movement and symbols as representations of inner personal conflictual material. Ad-ditionally, it substantiates self-figure drawing as an assessment tool and assists practitioners in early child abuse detection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number868
JournalChildren
Volume9
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 11 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by The Emili Sagol Creative Arts Therapies Research Center (CATRC).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Keywords

  • child abuse
  • emotional abuse
  • physical abuse
  • self-figure drawing
  • sexual abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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