Indications of depression and distress in divorce and nondivorce children reflected by the Rorschach test.

Research paper by A A Spigelman, G G Spigelman

Indexed on: 01 Aug '91Published on: 01 Aug '91Published in: Journal of personality assessment


The appearance of depressive features, as reflected by responses to the Rorschach test, were explored in two groups of children from divorced and nondivorced families (referred to here as divorce and nondivorce children). The relationships between the depression scores and the children's hostility, aggression, and anxiety levels were also studied. The Rorschach Inkblot Test was individually administered to a nonclinical sample of 108 Swedish school children between 10 and 12 years old. The subjects constituted two groups, a divorce group (27 girls, 27 boys) and a nondivorce group (27 girls, 27 boys). Divorce children scored significantly higher on Exner's (1986) Depression Index than their nondivorce peers. Furthermore, divorce children with depressive features in their Rorschach responses were found to have a high level of hostility and aggression (as manifested in their Rorschach protocols), whereas no such associations were found among nondivorce children.