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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Rosebush Q - sort : counsellor assessment of child abuse Bowden, Sara


The Rosebush Visualization Technique (RVT) (Allan & Crandall,1986) a projective art technique, and Q sort Methodology were combined in an experiment to test their usefulness in assessing sexual, physical and emotional abuse. Forty two children between the ages of 8 and 13 inclusive were selected from four groups; the sexually abused with a mean age of 9.5, physically abused with a mean age of 10.75, emotionally neglected with a mean age of 9.0; and children who had suffered neither abuse nor neglect with a mean age of 9.7. In accordance with the RVT, the subjects were instructed to take a minute or two to imagine themselves as a rosebush. Each child then inspected 24 drawings of rosebushes selected from a previous study using the RVT and representing a range of trauma from no known trauma to severe trauma, from amongst the four groups. Each child then selected and ordered the 24 drawings into those rosebushes that were most and least like their own visualizations. Each child subsequently developed a Q-sort of the 24 drawings that was analyzed by both Q-sort methodology and analysis of variance techniques. The results indicated that the Q-sort analyses did not support the hypotheses that traumatized children would select drawings completed by similarly traumatized children. However, a follow up repeated measures analysis of variance indicated a significant joint group x picture effect at the .05 level of significance. A study of these joint effects indicated that the two different groups, traumatized and nontraumatized, did in fact differentially identify some of the pictures, but not on the basis expected. This finding provides support for the hypothesis that children's preference for a set of pictures reflects their own background of abuse or non abuse. The implications of this finding for clinical practice and research are discussed.

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