Use of the Rorschach as a personality assessment tool with African American students



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Texas A&M University


African American children comprise 16.5 percent of all public school enrollments, but account for 27 percent of all students in Seriously Emotionally Disturbed (SED) classes (U. S. Dept of Education, 2001; U. S. Department of Education Ofice of Civil Rights, 1997). Being in such a position sets these children in the position of being assessed more often for placement and diagnostic purposes. Test instruments often use norms that either have not been standardized with African American children, or the cultural impact of African American socialization has not been validated with these children. In this investigation, the Rorschach was administered to 40 African American students of low-and middle-socioeconomic status. Comparisons were made between the Rorschach??s established norms for 9- and 11-year-olds and the study group of 40 African American male and female, 9- and 11-year-olds, to investigate any trends for the study group. In addition, the relative impact of acculturation on the Rorschach scores of this study??s participants was examined. Results revealed significant differences from the norm group on six of the 15 variables for the 11-year-olds in the study group, although not all significance was in the same direction, nor in the direction expected by the investigator. F+, and m were found in higher amounts for the study sample; CF, Pairs, Zf, and T were all found in significantly lower amounts for the study group. Significance on six (CF, Pairs, R-total, Zf, AG, and T) of the Rorschach variables investigated was found for the 9-year-old study group. There was no significance found due to the impact of acculturation for the entire study group. It may be that the 9-year-olds have a less sophisticated or negative "worldview" than their 11-year-old study group counterparts, or that when they are younger African American children perceive or process images more similar to their mainstream peers. Implications for further research and practice were discussed.