Child Rorschach Responses: Developmental Trends from Two to Ten Years

Child Rorschach Responses: Developmental Trends from Two to Ten Years

Child Rorschach Responses: Developmental Trends from Two to Ten Years

Child Rorschach Responses: Developmental Trends from Two to Ten Years

Excerpt

The developmental point of view suggests that the behavior of the child as well as his physical organism develops through a sequence of structured, patterned stages. This basic development comes from within. Its potentialities lie in the infant at the moment of birth and in fact have already expressed themselves by the time of birth, since the behavior of the fetus has already unfolded in a patterned, predictable manner.

Since the child's behavior does appear to develop in such a lawful, patterned manner, it is possible, within limits, to predict what reactions a given child may make in a given situation. Cinema and other studies from the former Yale Clinic of Child Development have amply documented this fact, particularly in relation to such behaviors as vision, locomotion, drawing, and the manipulation of simple objects.

Our studies have further shown "that the higher psychical manifestations of child life also are profoundly subject to laws of development. . . . Psychically the child inherits nothing fully formed. Each and every part of his nature has to grow--his sense of self, his fears, his affections and curiosities, his feelings toward mother, father, playmates, sex, his judgments of good and bad, ugly and beautiful. . . ." (Gesell, 18).

This basic and lawful development of intellectual and emotional functions appears in broadest outline to remain fairly consistent from child to child, though it seems to be at every stage inflected and colored by the individuality of each individual child. The stages of behavior are roughly the same from child to child, but each child expresses these stages at his own tempo and in his own way. A further factor which influences the child's behavior is, of course, the environmental situation in which he finds himself, and his adaptation to that situation.

It seems probable that projective techniques, if carefully administered and skilfully interpreted in the perspective of adequate age norms, can throw light on each of these three factors: 1) the child's level of development, 2) his innate individuality, and 3) the kind of adjustment he is making to his life situation.

However, without concrete information as to age factors, that is without knowing what kind of response to expect from a 3- or 4-, or 7- or . . .

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