chapter  5
13 Pages

Human Figure Drawings as Indicators of Children's Personality and Emotional Adjustment

Figure 5.1 shows a picture drawn by 8-year-old Peter, which Machover (1951) has used as an example to illustrate her method of personality analysis through the drawing of the human figure. Peter came from a middle-class family and he himself was of superior intelligence, was socially polite and had cultivated, adult manners. His father, a physician, had been overseas for 3 years and his mother had been distraught, unstable and restless during this time. She vacillated in her management of Peter, alternating between indulgence and harsh discipline. Peter had become increasingly aggressive, restless and attention-seeking by telling bawdy stories, swearing and handling his genitals.