Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Education


Counseling Psychology, Ph.D.

First Advisor

Nancy J. Carbonell

Second Advisor

Wilfred G. A. Futcher

Third Advisor

Dennis E. Waite


Problem. Robert Burns, author of the Kinetic-Family- Drawing, - has devised a projective test called the Kinetic-House-Tree-Person drawing. He has taken the House-Tree-Person projective technique and changed the instructions to include all of the figures on one page and also to include an action. In Burns's book on the K-H-T-P he claimed that his drawing gives a better clinical picture of the subject than the H-T-P. However, there is no research that compares the two tests for clinical information.

Method. The H-T-P and K-H-T-P were administered to 204 college students 18 years of age and older. These students came from one university in Michigan and one in Illinois. They were a non-clinical sample, meaning that they were not in therapy. Emotional indicators were extracted from the drawings, and then the indicators were analyzed using the Chi Square statistic called the McNemar test.

Results. There were 499 different emotional indicators found on the drawings, and 108 indicators were found to be significant. There were 74 indicators that were found significantly more often on the H-T-P than on the K-H-T-P. There were 34 indicators that were found significantly more often on the K-H-T-P than on the H-T-P. The H-T-P had indicators in the categories of general drawing characteristic, house, tree, and person. The K-H-T-P had indicators in all of those categories and also in actions, styles, and symbols. The H-T-P had more than twice as many indicators as the K-H-T-P. The category that had the most indicators for both tests was the house, with 56% of the indicators on the H-T-P and 32% on the K-H-T-P.

Conclusions. The H-T-P and K-H-T-P differ in the emotional indicators that are evoked from the drawings. With the H-T-P having more than twice as many indicators as the K-H-T-P, it is shown to be a stronger projective technique in eliciting information about the subject. Although similar in name, the tests are not interchangeable. Each test has been shown to have merit, and they could both be used in a psychological assessment battery to add the most amount of information to the clinical picture.

Subject Area

Kinetic-House-Tree-Person Technique.

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