Criterion Validity Study of the Aggressive Content Scales in the Rorschach for Pre- Adolescent Psychiatric Inpatients

Alison Haar, Pace University


This study aimed to expand upon the existing literature regarding the intersection of the Rorschach and Gacono and Meloy's (1994) extended aggression variables (i.e. Aggressive Potential and Aggressive Content) compared with parent ratings to assess for criterion validity with a sample of 75 pre-adolescent children who were admitted for inpatient psychiatric care. The Rorschach literature has emphasized that an analysis of performance on chromatic versus achromatic cards might be indicative of the degree to which affective stimulation impacts personality functioning. The study also assessed the Aggressive Content (AgC) variable's ability to differentiate between aggression on chromatic versus achromatic cards. Analysis of the relationship between AgC and various Rorschach variables indicated that AgC, and most notably AgC on achromatic cards, correlated with W and S responses, was positively correlated with some critical contents (Fi, Hd, (Hd)), and positively related to "active", as opposed to "passive", movement scores. Furthermore, achromatic cards with AgC, but not chromatic cards, was found to be positively correlated with overall signs of poor reality testing (X-%). Males with high levels of ego-impairment also provided more AgC on achromatic, but not chromatic, cards. Statistical analysis revealed that neither Aggressive Potential nor AgC related to age or gender variables. AgC on achromatic cards, but not chromatic cards, was found to be related to parent ratings of aggression and anger control, though this small effect was only significant for males. A difference score between AgC occurring on achromatic cards and chromatic cards was also significantly associated with parent ratings of aggression and anger dyscontrol. Thus, it appears that in the current sample, the relationship between Rorschach aggression variables and parent-rated aggression differs for males and females. The major contribution of the current findings, with respect to the association between Rorschach Aggression Variables, is that the greater the degree to which a child provides aggressive responses on achromatic, versus chromatic cards, the more likely it is that he is rated as exhibiting aggressive behavior by his parents. However, this finding was only evident in males, and bears further exploration.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Haar, Alison, "Criterion Validity Study of the Aggressive Content Scales in the Rorschach for Pre- Adolescent Psychiatric Inpatients" (2017). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI10669688.



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