Expression beyond Words: An Analysis of Human Figure Drawing of Children and Adolescents with ADHD
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ADHD, emotional indicators, gender, children, adolescents, HFD


Children’s' drawing are good indicators of emotion, self- esteem and social competence, as well as other personality aspects. Children in the phase of development, express their emotions more through images or drawings instead of words (Catte & Cox, 1999). The current study aims to explore emotional indicators in the drawings of children and adolescents with ADHD. More specifically, the objective of the investigation is to determine if there are gender and age –wise differences in emotional wellbeing. Human figure drawing of 52 children and adolescents were analyzed according to 5-category emotional problems (Skybo, Ryan-Wenger, & Su, 2007), based on emotional indicators of Koppitz (1968; 1984). The emotional problems were characterized as impulsivity, insecurity-inadequacy, shyness-timidity, anxiety and anger- aggressiveness. Emotional indicators amongst each category were analyzed to find if they were linked to gender and age groups. Chi-Square analysis showed gender differences within the emotional indicators; boys who participated in this study manifested more anger related issues than girls; whereas, girls showed more traits of shyness. Similarly, significant difference was found amongst age groups. On emotional indicators of shyness timidity, insecurity-inadequacy and impulsivity, children scored higher than adolescents. The findings suggested emotional wellbeing of children with ADHD increases with age, additionally while girls remain timidly shy and boys retain aggressiveness. The findings have important implications for clinical and educational psychology.

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