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Free AccessResearch Article

Concurrent Validity of the Sixty-Second Drawing Test in Measuring High-Schoolers’ Close Relationships and Depression

Published Online:https://doi.org/10.1027/1192-5604/a000141


Abstract. Although clinicians have a long history of using drawings for personality and emotional assessment, the empirical validation of the drawings has been inconsistent. The goal of this study was to examine the validity of the Sixty-Second Drawing Test (SSDT) in predicting close relationships and depression. The sample consisted of 2,883 Hungarian students. The SSDT required participants to draw a series of circles, where the circles represented the self, significant others, different moods, and God. Standardized questionnaires (the Experiences in Close Relationships–Revised and the Children’s Depression Inventory) were also administered. Generally speaking, small distances and relatively smaller self-circles were associated with better relationships. Depression was indicated by drawing large bad-mood circles that were close to one’s self-circle, along with small happiness-circles that were distant from one’s self-circle. The magnitudes of all associations were small to moderate, with explained variances ranging from 7.6% to 21.9%. The results suggest that using drawings of circles to represent important object-relations can, to some extent, predict interpersonal relations and depressive symptoms. Although we do not advocate using the SSDT as a clinical diagnostic measure, it can serve as a useful screening tool for identifying potential relational and affective difficulties.

Validity of Projective Assessments

Psychological assessments have long been proposed to be objective if tests make direct inferences about a person based on self-report or reports from significant others in response to very clear questions, thereby producing objective scores (Lack & Thomason, 2013). Projective tests, on the other hand, are indirect measurements, in which instructions or stimuli are more ambiguous and therefore allow for more indirect inferences about a person’s intelligence, personal and social qualities, and psychological state (Lack & Thomason, 2013).

Figure drawing methods are a common type of projective assessment in which individuals are asked to draw people or objects (Abell et al., 2001). The assumption is that drawings reflect the individuals’ basic dispositions and attitudes toward themselves and other people (Weiner & Greene, 2008). Clinicians have long used drawings for personality assessment and the evaluation of emotional states (Bertran & Nistal, 2017; Thomas & Jolley, 1998; Veltman & Browne, 2002). Figure drawing methods are still widely used (Camara et al., 2000; Cashel, 2002; Piotrowski, 2015).

Projective measures are often linked to psychoanalytic and psychodynamic theories of personality and psychopathology (Lack & Thomason, 2013; Sartori, 2010) because these measures are supposed to reflect unconscious tendencies and implicit motives. In general, projective measures can provide valuable information not assessed by self-report techniques (Lilienfeld et al., 2000) and they are less influenced by tendencies toward social desirability responses.

On the other hand, projective techniques have been criticized for being weak and ineffective, and for lacking face validity (Sartori, 2010). According to a meta-analysis (Lilienfeld et al., 2000), the validity evidence for many of the variables calculated in projective tests is limited, although there are exceptions. One example of validity evidence comes from work by Matto and colleagues (2005), who found that a special version of the Draw-A-Person Test explained considerable variance (> .20) in emotional and behavioral measures. However, the overall empirical validation of drawing tests has been inconsistent (Piotrowski, 2015).

Quantitative Indices of Drawings

The most widely studied quantitative index of drawings has been the size of figures. Weiner and Greene (2008) noted that the size of the figure when drawing oneself may reflect either an actual self-image or an ideal image. Some researchers (Bowdin & Bruck, 1960; Gray & Pepitone, 1964; Vass, 2012) have linked the size of a self-referent figure to the subject’s actual self-concept or self-esteem: Large figures are considered to reflect high self-esteem along with high energy level. Other researchers have found different results: Bennett (1966), Dalby and Vale (1977), and Prytula and colleagues (1978) did not find an association between size of the figure and self-esteem.

Lewinsohn (1964) noted that emotional states such as depression and anxiety can result in smaller drawings, and also a more recent publication (Ogdon, 2001) noted that smaller size together with placement in corners and the faintness of drawings could be indicators of depression. However, Salzman and Harway (1967) and Sandman and colleagues (1968) reported no relationship between depression and figure sizes. Gantt (2001) emphasized the ratio of empty to non-empty spaces and argued that this metric could be a more reliable indicator of depression.

Joiner et al. (1996) stated that there is no reliable relation between self-report measures of childhood depression and anxiety and drawing size, detail, and line heaviness. Their sole finding was a weak correlation between anxiety and drawing size, but in the opposite direction than expected: Higher anxiety was linked to larger drawings.

Another topic that has garnered research interest concerns the interpersonal significance and affective characteristics of the drawn person. Thomas and Gray (1992) asked participants to complete two drawings on separate papers, one of a liked person, and one of a disliked person. According to their results, the significance of a figure was reflected in its smaller distance from a self-referent figure. An assessment instrument focusing on interpersonal significance is the Inclusion of Other in the Self (IOS) Scale (Aron et al., 1992). The IOS is a semi-projective technique that uses pre-defined drawings of circles to represent different self–other relations. This single-item, pictorial measure is designed to assess interpersonal closeness. The IOS scale has good test–retest reliability; has demonstrated convergent, discriminant, and predictive validity; and is weakly correlated with measures of social desirability response bias. The IOS measures one’s sense of interconnection by evaluating the overlapping of circles (larger overlapping circles indicate closer interpersonal relationships).

In addition, the relative sizes of figures/circles and their vertical positions can also reflect important aspects of relationships. For example, Thomas and Jolley (1998) pointed out that children usually draw important adults, and adults that have more power, as larger figures. Burkitt and colleagues (2003) also found that children drew positively characterized objects larger than neutrally characterized ones, and reduced the size of negatively characterized objects relative to baseline drawings.

The Sixty-Second Drawing Test

In a novel approach to studying figure size, Thomas et al. (1989) asked children to draw apples and people, and they gave them a nice, a neutral, or a nasty description of the objects. In the “nice” condition, the sizes of both the apple and men that children drew were significantly bigger than those in the neutral condition. In the “nasty” condition, the drawings of men were smaller, but the size of the apple drawings were unaffected. The authors interpreted these findings as suggesting that the significance of a topic influences the size of the drawing.

In order to simplify the complexity and ambiguity of drawings, Vass (2011, 2012) proposed a method whereby individuals draw significant others and objects not as complex drawings, but only as circles. This idea led to the Sixty-Second Drawing Test (SSDT; Vass, 2011, 2012). In this test, the participant is asked to draw a circle that represents him- or herself, and additionally, another circle that represents a significant other person or a concept. In consecutive tasks, the participant is asked to draw his/her best friend, mother, father, siblings, happiness, biggest problem, etc.

According to Vass (2012), the test evaluates personality and object relations, including conscious and not conscious aspects. Vass proposed that the size of the circles may reflect self-esteem and their shapes may indicate conformity versus opposition. Consider the case of drawing a self-referent circle and a significant other circle. The two circles could differ in size, in vertical placement on the page (thought to reflect dominance vs. submission), in degree of separation versus overlap (thought to reflect autonomy vs. symbiotic/intimacy needs), in the extent to which one circle contains another (perhaps reflecting roles in the relationship, introjection, and/or need for support), and whether the circles differ in shape/degree of perfect circularity (thought to reflect identification, symbiosis vs. conflicts, and ambivalence; Vass, 2012). To summarize, the SSDT, like the IOS, only uses circles as the units of measurement, but has the advantage that not only the closeness of the circles is evaluated, but also relative sizes, relative positions, and multiple other characteristics as outlined above.

The overarching aim of our study was to examine how the distance and size variables of the SSDT could be linked to affective characterizations of significant others (i.e., different emotional states). Specifically, we examined the extent to which experiences in close relationships (with mother, father, and God), and depression (including low self-esteem) can be related to figure size and distance indices; thus we examined the concurrent validity of the SSDT.

We hypothesized that (1) closer attachments are linked to smaller distances (as is the case for the IOS scale; Aron et al., 1992), and (2) small size and distant placement from the center can be indicators of depression (as noted by Ogdon, 2001).



Our participants were 2,883 students, 1,365 females (M age = 16.73 years, SD = 1.31) and 1,518 males (Mage = 16.88, SD = 1.39) attending secondary schools in Hungary, from Grades 9 (642 males and 578 females) and 11 (876 males and 787 females). Students were recruited from all 20 counties in Hungary, and thus are representative of the population in Hungary. Students filled out the questionnaire and completed the drawing tasks in a classroom setting.


Ethical approval for the study was given by the ethics committee of the university of the first author. Students filled out questionnaires in their classroom settings, with help from their teacher and a research assistant. After completing the questionnaires, students were given four A4 sheets of paper that they needed to tear into four equal parts (resulting in 16 smaller pieces) and they were instructed as to which paper the various circles should be drawn on.


Sixty-Second Drawing Test (SSDT)

The SSDT was developed by Vass (Vass, 2011, 2012). It has 16 different instructions asking participants to draw 16 pairs of circles, each assessing a relation of the self to 16 different individuals, objects, or concepts.

The first instruction is: “Take this sheet and put it in landscape position. Now, draw a circle that represents yourself.” Once finished: “Now, please draw a circle that represents one of your friends.” In Instructions 3–16, the examiner repeats the same procedure, changing only the persons involved: (3) you and your father; (4) you and your mother; (5) you and your siblings; (6) you and your teacher; (7) you and someone you love; (8) you and a person you do not love; (9) you and the school; (10) you and a current problem that worries you seriously; (11) you and the problem in a year’s time; (12) you and happiness; (13) you and bad mood; (14) you and good mood; (15) you and your mood recently; (16) you and God.

Drawings were scanned, which were then evaluated by a computer program that automatically measured:

  1. 1)
    Sizes of own (r1) and other circle (r2, length of radius);
  2. 2)
    Relative sizes (r1 − r2);
  3. 3)
    Distances (D) between center of circles; and
  4. 4)
    Relative distances between center of circles (distances were computed relative to the sizes of circles by this formula: (D − (r1 + r2))/(r1 + r2).

Experiences in Close Relationships–Revised (ECR-RS) Questionnaire

Adult Attachment was measured by the short version of the Experiences in Close Relationships-Revised (ECR-RS) questionnaire (Fraley et al., 2011). Ten items were intended to measure one’s relationship to mother and father separately. All responses were indicated using a 5-point Likert scale. This short version along with the original version (Fraley et al., 2000) consists of two scales (avoidance and anxiety); however, it was noted by Fraley et al. (2011) that the correlations between the two subscales are relatively high (around .5) and half of the items load on both factors with at least a .25 factor weight. We tested the original two-factor model and a bifactor one, in which a global attachment factor besides the specific factors (avoidance and anxiety) is present. Table 1 lists the fit indices of the consecutive models. The bifactor model with a modification (adding correlated error terms between Items 2 and 3) yielded the best fit indices. Thus, one global and two specific factors were confirmed with two items having correlated error terms. These two items in fact measure two very similar things, namely, “talking things over” and “discussing problems.”

Table 1 Confirmatory factor analyses of the ECR-RS questionnaire

Omega hierarchical (omegaH), which reflects the percentage of variance that can be attributed to the individual differences on the general factor, was .79 and .82, for maternal and paternal attachment, respectively. Rodriguez et al. (2016) reported that in the case of omegaH above .8, total scores can be regarded as unidimensional. Therefore, in our study we subsequently used only the global attachment scores, separately for maternal and paternal attachment measures. Reliability analyses of the global scale yielded Cronbach α values of .87 and .88 along with McDonald’s ω of .86 (95% CI = [.86, .88]) and .88 (95% CI = [.88, .89]), respectively, for the mother and father relationship items.

Relationship With God

Relationship with God and religiosity were measured through several questions. First, we assessed belief in God, church attendance, and frequency of prayer (“talking to God”). Four questions asked about religious attitudes (two of them measuring fear of God’s punishment, and two other questions about gratefulness to God). Lastly, three items from the Spiritual Health and Life Orientation Measurement Scale (Fisher, 2010) were used to measure the participant’s opinion about how praying to or thinking about God contributes to psychological well-being.

A principal component was calculated from the 10 items to form an index of (close) relationship to God (explained variance = 62.14%, with all component scores above .6). This index is based on a formative model, which assumes that questions coming from different questionnaires can form a composite score as an index of a weighted sum of the different variables. This analysis (PCA) preserves the maximal amount of variance of observed variables while Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) accounts for common variance in the data and it assumes that all items reflect the same construct. Here we tested if different measurements and constructs (belief in God, praying to God, visiting church) could be composed as a composite score. Thus, PCA was applied, to test if one meaningful composite score could be formed with preserving as much of the original variables’ variance, as possible.

Children’s Depression Inventory

Depressive symptoms were measured using eight items from the Children’s Depression Inventory (Kovacs, 1981, 1992), including two items on negative mood, two items on interpersonal problems, two items on anhedonia, one item on negative self-esteem and one item on ineffectiveness. The total score of the questionnaire was proved to be a reliable index over repeated administrations (Finch et al., 1987). Reliability analysis in our study yielded a Cronbach α of .76, with all item-total correlations above .3. McDonalds’ ω was .76 (CI = [.74, .77]). CFA analyses confirmed a one-factor solution (χ2 = 87.775, p < .05, df = 20; CMIN/df = 4.39; CFI = .98; TLI = .96; SRMR = .02; RMSEA = .04 [.03, .04]).


Relations of Self-Circle Sizes to Self-Esteem and Emotional States

We formed an average out of the 16 drawings of self-circle sizes (the participant had to draw himself/herself 16 times). We measured whether these sizes constitute a reliable scale: Cronbach α coefficient was .95, and also McDonald’s ω was .95 (CI = [.95, .96]). The average self-circle size was significantly but weakly negatively related to depression, r(2,689) = −.09, p < .001. The item measuring self-esteem was weakly positively correlated with average circle size, r(2,642) = .10, p < .001. These relationships were lower among boys – size and depression: r(1,387) = −.04, p = .11, size and self-esteem: r(1,357) = .06, p = .02 – than among girls, size and depression: r(1,288) = −.09, p = .001, size and self-esteem: r(1,270) = .10, p < .001.

SSDT as a Measure of Close Relationships

Bivariate correlations were used to examine associations (1) between ECR (Experiences in Close Relationships) scores and drawing indices of “you and your mother” and “you and your father”, and (2) between one’s relationship to God and drawing indices calculated from the drawing “you and God” (see Table 2).

Table 2 Correlations between SSDT indices and validity scales on total sample and separately for boys and girls

Altogether, closer relationships were indicated by significantly smaller distances between self- and other circles (r = −.18 to −.25). The relative distance measures yielded even higher correlations (r = −.27 to −.33), than the simple distance measures, for paternal attachment and relation to God, correlational coefficients were above .3 in the total sample. However, gender differences were discovered: In the case of girls, these coefficients were above .4, whereas among boys, these were below .3. For all cases, the relative distances were calculated by dividing distances by diameters of the circles.

Regarding the size of drawings, the highest correlations (.38) were found when measuring one’s relationship to God. This relation was even stronger (.43) among girls. Regarding one’s relationship to parents, all of the size indices yielded weak correlations (< .16).

In addition to correlations, regression analyses were performed on the total sample, in which SSDT indices served as independent variables and measures of relationships with mother, father, and God served as the dependent variables (see Table 3).

Table 3 Results of regression analyses on predicting attachment to mother, father, and religiosity from the independent variables of the SSDT

Explained variances of 8%, 13%, and 22% were achieved, respectively, for relationships with mother, F(2, 2,599) = 106.65, p < .001, father, F(2, 2,441) = 179.60, p < .001, and God, F(3, 1,635) = 153.96, p < .001. Mother attachment was negatively related to relative distance (β = −.27) and positively to relative size of mother (β = .06). Father attachment was negatively related to relative distance (β = −.34) and positively to relative size of the father (β = .12). Relationship with God was found to be positively linked to size of God (β = .31), and negatively linked to relative distance (β = −.28) and to size of self-circle (β = −.20). Regression analyses run separately for boys and girls resulted in similar significant predictors but in differences in explained variance. In the case of boys, 4%, 7%, and 21% were found, respectively, for relationships with mother (based on relative distance), father (based on relative distance and size difference), and God (based on distance, size difference and self-size). In the case of girls, 12%, 18% and 28% were found, respectively, for relationships with mother (based on relative distance and size difference), father (based on relative distance and size difference), and God (based on distance and size of God circle).

Predicting Depression Scores From the SSDT

In predicting depression scores, indicators of relative distance, sizes in general, and size differences were examined as independent variables in the regression model. The model was significant and accounted for 13% of the variance in depression scores, F(6, 1,051) = 21.991, p < .001 (see Table 4). As the regression coefficients indicate, depression scores were most strongly associated with a large distance between self- and happiness-circles (β = .22), a small distance between self- and bad-mood circles (β = .18), a relatively large bad-mood circle (β = .14), and a relatively small happiness-circle (β = −.10). Larger distances between one’s self-circle and the circle of a rejected person (β = .10) were also associated with higher depression. Finally, big-problem circles (β = .09) and relatively small good-mood circles (β = −.08) were also associated with higher depression. We also ran regression analyses separately for girls and boys. In the case of girls, 18.5% of explained variance arose with linking depression to more distant and smaller happiness circles, less distant and bigger bad mood circles, more distant good-mood circles, bigger problem circles, and smaller school circles. Among boys, explained variance was only 9.5%. Bigger and more distant bad-mood circles, bigger problem circles, and smaller happiness circles were linked to higher depression.

Table 4 Regression analyses predicting depression scores from the Sixty-Second Drawing Test

Post hoc power analyses showed that all the aforementioned regressions (including ones with maternal, paternal attachment, relation with God, and depression) had an observed statistical power of 1.0.


The overarching aim of this study was to examine how size and distance indices of the SSDT are associated with quality of close relationships and depression (including low self-esteem). Average self-circle sizes were only weakly related to self-esteem and emotional state, yet the direction of these weak associations confirmed that larger sizes are linked to higher self-esteem and lower depression scores, which are findings consistent with previous research on self-esteem (Bowdin & Bruck, 1960; Gray & Pepitone, 1964; Saneei et al., 2011) and depression (Lewinsohn, 1964).

Regarding the measurement of self–other relations, our results showed that the relative distances and the size of the other-circle emerged as significant predictors. When examining the drawings of mother, father, and God, we found that closer relationships were predicted by drawing the significant other with a larger circle and closer to the self-circle. In the case of mother and father relationships, circle closeness was the most significant predictor of close relationships as measured by questionnaire data. The feeling of deep connection to God was most significantly linked to drawing God as a large circle. This result can likely be explained by the commonsense fact that religious people view God as all-powerful and almighty.

The finding that small distances were predictors of close relationships is in accordance with research by Thomas and Gray (1992) concerning the relative placement of object drawings. By contrast, the fact that we found larger relative sizes of significant others in drawings, which reflects better relationships, contradicts the findings of Thomas and Jolley (1998), who argued that larger drawings accompany perceptions of threatening adults. Regarding the sizes of correlations (and coefficients of determination, R2 values), for the associations between circle-based and traditional scale-based indices, we found, according to Cohen’s (1988) criteria, small effect sizes for self–mother close relationships and medium effect sizes for self–father and self–God relationships. However, a more recent publication on correlation effect sizes (Gignac & Szodorai, 2016) suggested treating correlation coefficients above .30 as relatively large effects. According to this suggestion, we can say that the effect sizes between circle-drawing indices and relations with both father and God were relatively large.

Our results show that although depression was not effectively predicted by the average sizes of the self-circles, there were some specific drawings (self and happiness, self and bad mood, self and good mood, self and big problem) that revealed more reliable associations with depression. The amounts of explained variance were modest, and thus the associations are not robust enough to treat the SSDT as a diagnostic tool for depression. Instead, the relative indices (relative distances and relative sizes) were more predictive of depression, and thus can be viewed as potential markers of depression-related problems. In particular, a relatively close and large bad-mood circle along with a relatively distant and small happiness-circle next to the self-circle were the strongest predictors of higher-than-average depression scores. The total explained variance of the drawing indices in relation to depression can be regarded as having a medium-sized effect according to Cohen (1988) but a relatively large-sized effect according to Gignac and Szodorai (2016).

Wright and McIntyre (1982) emphasized the need to develop standardized administration and rating techniques for drawings to assess depression levels. A general issue in the drawing test field concerns the weak-to-moderate predictive associations (Sims et al., 1983). The strongest correlation between depression, anxiety, measures of affect, and drawing test variables found by Joiner et al. (1996) was an r value of .37, which is very similar to the strongest association in the present study. Predictive associations between the IOS scale (Aron et al., 1992) and traditional self-report questionnaires typically explain around 20% of the variance, which is similar to the highest explained variance in our study (22%), received from a total sample analysis.

Finally, we have to note that there were gender differences in the amount of explained variance, with higher explained variance in the case of girls versus boys. A possible underlying factor for this difference can be a gender difference in expressing emotions through a drawing exercise. Previous research showed that women have greater emotional knowledge and are better at expressing their emotions more fluently and frequently (Brody & Hall, 2000). However, gender differences should be further studied in order to unfold the underlying determinants of these differences. Also, we have to note that lack of measurement invariances can be an underlying reason too, which should be addressed in further research. It should also be considered that traditional univariable or even multivariable statistical methods do not necessarily represent the best approach of understanding projective tests. Vass (1999, 2000, 2004, 2009, 2012) proposed a new paradigm for the interpretation of drawing tests, based on a systems analysis approach: the Seven-Step Configuration Analysis (SSCA). It is a scheme of psychological interpretation derived from studies of human expert thinking.

The SSCA was developed using artificial intelligence (Vass, 2000, 2012) to build a cognitive model of domain-specific expert thinking. Instead of the traditional psychometric approach, the model emphasizes multiple causation: It is not possible to assign certain psychological interpretations to the features of projective drawings in the manner of a dictionary. In other words, a particular feature of a picture may be the effect of several different causes. This also holds true the other way round: A single cause may be expressed in several different features of the picture.

In the SSCA, only configurations are interpreted. A configuration (Vass, 2009) is defined as an item list allocated to a psychological concept with a nonlinear certainty factor. A configuration consists of three components: (1) a psychological concept (an interpretation, e.g., a personality trait); (2) a certainty factor of the psychological concept; and (3) an item list (e.g., unusually small size, light pressure, or cautious behavior). From this systems analysis point of view, our result on the SSDT could be valuable contribution to a future expert system based on the SSCA method.

In summary, the SSDT provides researchers with a series of easily measurable and reliable drawing indices that seem to be associated with both the closeness of relationships and depression. The SSDT entails multiple drawings yet still can be administered quickly. A major strength of the SSDT is that it offers a quick and simple measurement of relationships to different individuals and objects. Because the sizes and distances of circles were the most robust indices, the test can avoid the distorting/confounding effects of drawing skill abilities and intelligence (Lilienfeld, Wood & Garb, 2000; Sims et al., 1983). Another benefit of the SSDT is that it avoids the potential bias caused by social desirability, while still allowing for the possibility of objective scoring. According to our results, the SSDT has potential for helping psychologists who work in school settings, and may be helpful as a brief screening measure of close relationships and depression. This test can be administered to small children, and even to those who cannot yet read or write.


Our study has some limitations: The sample consisted of high school students, thus providing only nonclinical data, and we used only self-report instruments without structured interviews or reports from significant others. Further research is needed that (1) controls for demographic variables, (2) addresses the measurement invariances for gender, and (3) examines clinical samples in an effort to replicate our findings. Another limitation that arguably applies to all projective assessments is that the interpretation of scores, despite the use of quantifiable indices, remains somewhat ambiguous (see Lack & Thomason, 2013; Lilienfeld et al., 2000; Thomas & Jolley, 1998). Further psychometric evaluation of size indices should be examined.

Generally speaking, researchers should be cautious when using projective techniques to assist in assessing psychopathology. Regarding the SSDT, an important direction for future research is to elucidate those areas of psychological functioning and psychopathology that the instrument can most validly assess.


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Although clinicians have a long history of using drawings for personality assessment and the evaluation of emotional states and basic attitudes, the empirical validation of drawings has been inconsistent. The goal of this study was to examine the validity of the Sixty-Second Drawing Test (SSDT) in predicting close relationships to parents, God, and depression. The SSDT requires participants to draw a series of circles, where the circles represent the self, significant others, different moods, and God. The respondent has to draw 16 pairs of circles. The respondents can draw circles with different sizes and positions, and the parameters (diameters, vertical and horizontal positions, distances) constitute quantitative indices. In order to measure the validity of these indices, several standardized questionnaires (the Experiences in Close Relationships–Revised and the Children’s Depression Inventory) were administered along with the drawing test. Also, several items were used to assess one’s relationship with God, including items from the Spiritual Health and Life Orientation Measurement Scale. The sample consisted of 2,883 Hungarian students.

According to our results, drawing indices were significantly linked to scale scores measured by questionnaires. When drawing circles to represent one’s self and one’s parents, small distances and relatively large parent-circles marked better relationships with parents. Individuals with closer relationship to God, drew God as a larger circle that was situated closer to one’s self-circle. Depression was indicated by drawing large bad-mood circles that were close to one’s self-circle, along with small happiness-circles that were distant from one’s self-circle. The magnitudes of all associations were small to moderate, with explained variances ranging from 7.6% to 21.9%.

The results suggest that drawings of circles can be used to represent important object-relations. The sizes and positions of the drawings can, to some extent, predict interpersonal attachment, relationship to God, and depressive symptoms. Although we do not advocate using the SSDT as a clinical diagnostic measure, it can serve as a useful screening tool for identifying potential relational and affective difficulties.


Bár a klinikusok már régóta használnak rajzteszteket a személyiség, az érzelmi állapotok és az alapvető attitűdök mérésére, a tesztek validitására vonatkozó kutatási eredmények nem egybehangzóak. A tanulmányunk célja az volt, hogy megvizsgáljuk a hatvan másodperces rajzteszt (Sixty Second Drawing Test, SSDT) érvényességét a szülőkkel való szoros kapcsolat, az Istennel való kapcsolat és a depresszió előrejelzésében. Az SSDT feladatban a résztvevők köröket rajzolnak, ahol a körök képviselik az ént, a jelentős másokat, a különböző hangulatokat és Istent. A válaszadónak 16 pár kört kell rajzolnia. A válaszadók különböző méretű köröket rajzolhatnak, különböző pozíciókban, és a paraméterek (átmérők, függőleges és vízszintes pozíciók, távolságok) könnyen lemérhető kvantitatív indexeket jelentenek. Ezen indexek érvényességének mérése érdekében számos standard kérdőívet (a Gyermek depresszió kérdőív, A közvetlen kapcsolatok élményei – kapcsolati struktúrák (ECR-RS) kötődési kérdőív) a rajzteszttel együtt lettek felvéve. Emellett számos tételt használtunk az Istennel való kapcsolat mérésére, beleértve a spirituális lelki egészség és az életorientáció kérdőív egyes tételeit is. A minta 2883 magyar diákból állt.

Eredményeink szerint a rajzindexek szignifikánsan kapcsolódtak a kérdőívek által mért skálákhoz. A saját- és szülő-körök közti kis távolságok és a szülő-körök relatív nagysága jelezték előre a kérdőíven elért magas kötődési pontszámot. Az Istenhez közelebb álló egyének Istent egy nagyobb körként rajzolták, közelebb saját magukhoz. A depressziót nagy, én-körhöz közeli, „rossz hangulatot” ábrázoló körök, valamint távol eső kicsi boldogság-körök jelezték előre. A feltárt kapcsolatok erőssége kicsi vagy közepes volt, a megmagyarázott variancia 7,6% és 21,9% között mozogtak.

Az eredmények arra utalnak, hogy a körök paraméterei alkalmasak arra, hogy bizonyos mértékben előrejelezzék a hosszabb kérdőívekkel is felmérhető konstruktumokat. A rajzok méretei és pozíciói bizonyos mértékig előre jelezhetik az interperszonális kötődést, az Istennel való kapcsolatot és a depressziós tüneteket. Bár az SSDT klinikai diagnózisra nem alkalmas, hasznos szűrőeszközként szolgálhat az interperszonális kapcsolati problémák és érzelmi nehézségek veszélyének megállapításánál.


Bien qu’il existe une longue histoire de psychologues cliniciens utilisant des dessins pour évaluer la personnalité, des états émotionnels et des attitudes de base, leur validation empirique est incohérente.

Le but de cet essai était d’examiner la validité du Test de Dessin de Soixante Secondes (the Sixty Second Drawing Test (SSDT)) pour prédire la relation étroite avec les parents, la relation avec Dieu et la dépression. Le test a requis que les participants dessinent une série de cercles, où les cercles représentent le soi, les autres significatifs, les humeurs différentes et Dieu. Les participants ont dû dessiner des cercles dessiner 16 paires de cercles. Les cercles peuvent être de tailles et de positions différentes, les paramètres (diamètres, positions verticales et horizontales, distances) constituent des indices quantitatifs. Afin de mesurer la validité du questionnaire, plusieurs autres questionnaires standardisés (Les Expériences Dans Les Relations Étroites - révisé et L’Inventaire de Dépression de L’Enfant) ont été utilisés dans la recherche. En plus, plusieurs éléments du Questionnaire Sur La Santé Spirituelle et le Test d’Orientation de Vie ont été utilisés pour mesurer la relation de l’individu avec Dieu. L’échantillon était composé de 2883 étudiants hongrois.

Selon les résultats, les indices de dessin étaient significativement liés aux scores d’échelle mesurés par les questionnaires. En cas de dessin de cercles pour représenter soi-même et ses parents, de petites distances et des cercles de parents relativement grands marquaient de meilleures relations avec les parents. Les individus ayant une relation plus étroite avec Dieu l’ont dessiné comme un cercle plus grand qui était situé plus près de leurs propres cercles. La dépression a été indiquée en dessinant de grands cercles de mauvaise humeur proches de leurs propres cercles, ainsi que de petits cercles de bonheur qui étaient éloignés des leurs. L’ampleur de toutes les associations était petite à modérée, avec les variances expliquées de 7,6% à 21,9%.

Les résultats suggèrent que les dessins de cercles peuvent être utilisés pour représenter des relations d’objet importantes. La taille et la position des dessins peuvent, dans une certaine mesure, prédire l’attachement interpersonnel, la relation avec Dieu et les symptômes dépressifs. Bien que nous n’avons pas préconisé l’utilisation du SSDT comme mesure diagnostique clinique, le test peut servir d’outil de dépistage utile pour identifier les difficultés relationnelles et affectives potentielles.


Aunque los psicólogos clínicos tienen una larga historia con el uso de dibujos para la evaluación de la personalidad, la evaluación de estados emocionales y actitudes básicas, su validación empírica ha sido inconsistente. El objetivo de este estudio fue examinar la validez de la Sixty Second Drawing Test (SSDT – Prueba de Dibujo de Sesenta Segundos) para predecir las correlaciones entre la relación cercana con los padres, la relación con Dios y la depresión. El SSDT requiere que los participantes dibujen una serie de círculos, donde los círculos representan a sí mismos, a los seres queridos, diferentes estados de ánimo y a Dios. La persona tiene que dibujar 16 pares de círculos. Pueden dibujar círculos con diferentes tamaños y posiciones, y durante el proceso de evaluación, estos parámetros (diámetros, posiciones verticales y horizontales, distancias) constituirán los índices cuantitativos. Para medir la validez de estos índices, se administraron varios cuestionarios estandarizados: Experiences in Close Relationships – Revised (Experiencias con Relaciones Cercanas – Versión Revisada) y Children’s Depression Inventory (el Inventario de Depresión Infantil) con la prueba de dibujo. Además, se usaron varios ítems para evaluar la relación de los encuestados con Dios, incluidos los ítems de la cuestionario Spiritual Health and Life Orientation Measurement Scale (Escala de Medición de Salud Espiritual y Orientación de Vida). La muestra consistió en 2883 estudiantes húngaros.

Según nuestros resultados, los índices de dibujos se vincularon significativamente con los puntajes de cuestionarios. Al dibujar círculos para representarse a uno mismo y a sus padres, las distancias pequeñas y los círculos de padres relativamente grandes marcaban mejores relaciones con los padres. Las personas con una relación más cercana con Dios, dibujaron a Dios como un círculo más grande que estaba situado más cerca del propio círculo personal. La depresión se indicaba dibujando grandes círculos de mal humor que estaban cerca del círculo de uno mismo, y con pequeños círculos de felicidad que estaban lejos del círculo de uno mismo. Las magnitudes de todas las asociaciones fueron pequeñas a moderadas, con variaciones explicadas que van desde el 7,6% al 21,9%.

Los resultados sugieren que se puede usar los dibujos de círculos para representar importantes relaciones de objeto. Los tamaños y las posiciones de los dibujos pueden, en cierta medida, predecir el apego interpersonal, la relación con Dios y los síntomas depresivos. Aunque no recomendamos utilizar el SSDT como una medida de diagnóstico clínico, puede servir como una herramienta útil para identificar posibles dificultades relacionales y afectivas.

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