The “Colour Family Drawing Test”: A Comparison between Children of “Harmonious” or “Very Conflictual Families”


The “Colour Family Drawing Test” applied a classification of colours on an emotional basis leading to the distinction between “Alarming and Serious” (black, grey, violet, olive-green, dark blue, red, yellow) and “Reassuring and Playful” hues (pink, sky blue, orange and pastel colours). 120 participants (aged 7 - 10 years, both genders), attending Rome primary schools, were individually examined. They sat at a table with a white A4 card, 24 colour pencils, a black pencil, an eraser and received the instruction: “Draw your family”. The research objective concerns the introduction of colours and the evaluation of emotional meaning of the colours used by children in drawing their families. The families had been preliminarily evaluated as Harmonious or Very Conflictual Families through a semi-structural interview conducted with the children’s teachers. The drawings made by children of Harmonious Families consistently used reassuring, playful colours (p < 0.01); children of Conflictual Families used alarming, serious colours (p < 0.01). The parents also compiled the LDM Inventory, in order to have a confirmation of their level of psychological conflict. 33 “Very harmonious” parents and 22 “Very Conflictual” parents were selected. A comparison revealed that N/H scores were significantly lower in parents of Very Conflictual Families compared to the opposite ones (t53 = 2.95; p < 0.01). Conflictual Parents do not develop harmonious interpersonal relations, preferring overt aggression, with particular consequences for the family’s emotional atmosphere and for the children’s personality.

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Biasi, V. , Bonaiuto, P. & Levin, J. (2014). The “Colour Family Drawing Test”: A Comparison between Children of “Harmonious” or “Very Conflictual Families”. Psychology, 5, 2099-2108. doi: 10.4236/psych.2014.519212.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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