Representations of Attachment Patterns in the Family Drawings of Maltreated and Non-maltreated Children
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The study was conducted to investigate and compare the attachment styles of maltreated and non-maltreated children through the use of the family drawing technique. The sample consisted of ten maltreated and ten non-maltreated children between the ages of five and 11. The findings revealed that the maltreated children depicted significantly more items in their drawings linked to an insecure attachment pattern than non-maltreated children, while the non-maltreated children made use of significantly more drawing features linked to a secure attachment pattern. These results corresponded to scores on the Child Behaviour Checklist (Achenbach, 1991). All maltreated children scored in the clinical range. The family drawings of maltreated children significantly evidenced a greater distress - represented by an insecure attachment pattern - than the drawings of non-maltreated children represented by a secure attachment style.