Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Education


Educational Psychology, Ph.D.

First Advisor

Donna J. Habenicht

Second Advisor

Wilfred G. A. Futcher

Third Advisor

Nancy J. Carbonell


Problem. There is a need for validation of new cultural-sensitive tests for assessing the Hispanic population in the United States that will take into account their cultural competence in the psychological evaluation practice. The purpose of this study was to explore the suitability of the Kinetic Family Drawings as a measure of Minuchin's Structural Family Theory among Hispanic American families with substance-abusing and nonsubstance-abusing adolescents.

Method. The Kinetic Family Drawing (KFD), the Structural Family Interaction Scale-Revised (SFIS-R), and the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Scales (FACES II) were administered to 141 families, 74 with an adolescent with substance-abusing problems and 67 with nonsubstance-abusing adolescents. Both groups, the clinic and non-clinic, included a total of 260 people involved in the study. All subjects were Hispanic Americans living in Chicago, Illinois, and Southern Michigan. Fourteen hypotheses were tested, and data were analyzed by multiple linear regression analysis, canonical correlation analysis, t-test, and by discriminant analysis. Significance was set at .05.

Results. The results of this study give support to the validity of the KFD in assessing some variables of Minuchin's Structural Family Theory. Of 37 KFD variables designed for this study, 25 (67.5%) found some confirmation. However, other variables were not supported by the results. The KFD appears to be suitable in the assessment of some of the Family Hierarchy variables, Family Boundaries variables, and Family Adaptability variables. The qualitative results did not provide, however, support for KFD Family Subsystems variables related to maladaptive coalitions. The potential of the KFD to differentiate between families with different styles of interacting is affirmed by this study. The results indicated that the KFD is able to differentiate family patterns of interaction between substance-abusing and nonsubstance-abusing Hispanic families under certain conditions. These differences are related to Family Hierarchy, Family Boundaries, and Family Adaptability variables. No differences were indicated in the Family Subsystem variables.

Conclusion. The results of the quantitative and qualitative analysis of this study provide support for the potential of the KFD to reflect the drawer's view of himself/herself within the family, his/her view of family members' functioning, his/her view of some family interpersonal conflicts, and his/her view about the differences between some successful and unsuccessful family interactive patterns in terms of Minuchin's Structural Family Theory.

Subject Area

Kinetic Family Drawing Test., Hispanic American families, Hispanic American youth--Substance abuse.

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