A comparison of form quality in two Rorschach scoring systems: The Comprehensive System and the Rorschach Performance Assessment System

Kelly R Katsuras, Pace University


Previous research has provided strong support for the Rorschach Comprehensive System (CS; Exner, 1974) as a valid and accurate tool for differentiating children with and without psychotic features (Hilsenroth, Fowler, & Padawer, 1998; Jorgensen, Andersen, & Dam, 2000; Smith, Baity, Knowles, & Hilsenroth, 2001; Stokes, Pogge, Grosso, & Zaccario, 2001). However, since the CS will no longer be revised, the Rorschach Performance Assessment System (R-PAS; Meyer, Viglione, Mihura, Erard, & Erdberg, 2011) was developed to make improvements to the CS and allow the Rorschach to evolve with new research. Due to the diagnostic utility of form quality (FQ), the need for a reliable and valid method of measurement with children is important. The current explorative study aimed to compare R-PAS form quality tables to the widely used CS form quality tables. The sample consisted of 90 psychiatric inpatient children, between the ages of 9 and 12 years old, who were selected based on completion of a valid Rorschach and a Personality Inventory for Children-Second Edition (PIC-2; Lachar & Gruber, 2001) completed by a guardian. The Childhood Psychiatric Rating Scale (CPRS; Pogge, 2001, unpublished manuscript) and chart diagnosis were also collected. Form quality of each protocol was re-scored using the CS and R-PAS. Results indicated that there were significant differences found between the CS and R-PAS form quality tables, form quality variables, and constellations that assess reality testing and thought disorganization. The R-PAS FQ tables provided slightly more utility in that more responses were listed exactly, ultimately requiring less extrapolation and subjectivity. However, neither FQ table was useful with distorted or thought disordered responses, at which point examiners must rely on clinical judgment. The R PAS TP-Comp demonstrated some external validity with a psychotic disorder chart diagnosis; however, this requires further exploration. Finally, when the FQ tables provided no guidance for a response, the form quality score seemed to have important diagnostic implications. Future research should focus on R-PAS FQ tables to inform psychologists of the system's utility, lead to better training, and provide support for its use across settings, ultimately contributing to better assessment and accurate diagnosis of children.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Katsuras, Kelly R, "A comparison of form quality in two Rorschach scoring systems: The Comprehensive System and the Rorschach Performance Assessment System" (2014). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI3581864.



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