Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Richard Wikoff

Second Advisor

Norman H. Hamm

Third Advisor

Thomas Lorsbach


The present study examined a recently published projective test, the Roberts Apperception Test for Children (RATC; McArthur & Roberts, 1982). The subjects were 58 students, grades 1-8, from a midwestern suburban school district. One-half of the students had been referred to the school psychologist for an evaluation, either because of behavioral problems or a suspected learning disability, or for routine three-year reevaluations (as required by law). The second group of students were randomly drawn except for the stipulation that they not have been previously referred for a psychological evaluation. All subjects were given the RATC; in addition, the majority of the referred students had scores available for the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - Revised and for an individually administered achievement test battery. For the nonreferred group of children, California Achievement Test scores were recorded whenever they were available. Analysis of the data showed that referred and nonreferred groups of students differed only in the kinds of resolutions they provided for identified problem situations, with the former group tending to give quick, easy answers (the lowest level of resolution). Nonreferred students gave proportionately more resolutions to stories. RATC scales may be combined in a global fashion into Adaptive and Clinical scores; contrary to expectation, groups did not differ in their mean scores on this measure. Correlations between the RATC scales and other measures such as IQ and achievement were also examined. The validity of the RATC as a clinical tool was considered. It appears to offer some advantages over similar projective tests which have been used with children, and contributes to a better understanding of a child's emotional status. The findings of this study point to the need to teach problem-solving skills to referred children.

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