Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


School of Education


Educational Psychology, Ed.D.

First Advisor

Donna J. Habenicht

Second Advisor

Wilfred G. A. Futcher

Third Advisor

Marion Merchant


Problem. Valid psychological instruments for use with Black children are scarce. This study sought to validate the Kinetic Family Drawing (KFD) as a useful tool for gathering information about Black children and their families, and to obtain normative and developmental data for this population.

Method. A correlational research design was used to ascertain the validity of the KFD by comparing results on 40 variables (Burns, 1982; Cho, 1987) with the criterion measure, Semantic Differential Family Scale (SDFS), including family concepts: "Me," "Mother and Me," "Father and M e ” and "My Whole Family." The study utilized a stratified random sample of 210 male and 210 female Black students equally distributed among Grades 1 through 6 from five school systems in Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois. Canonical correlation and step-wise multiple-regression analyses were utilized to test the null hypotheses. T-tests and analysis of variance were used to determine significant differences between ages and sexes. Data were also treated descriptively to obtain normative information.

Results. A significant relationship was found between the KFD and the SDFS. The KFD family variables were effective in describing the perceptions of self and family relationships of Black children, while the self variables, by themselves, were not. Developmental age and sex differences were found for some variables. KFD styles and other pathological signs were only minimally evident.

Conclusions. The Kinetic Family Drawing is a valid and useful instrument for gaining information about how Black children in the Midwest perceive themselves and their family relationships. It is effective in describing some developmental age differences, especially the self-esteem of the Black child. The KFDs of Black children seemed to generally reflect a positive impression of the family. They portrayed the family as satisfactory for them. The KFDs of the children did not necessarily reflect the family characteristics of the Black family as described in the literature.

Subject Area

Kinetic Family Drawing Test, African American children.

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