Analysis of drawings made by children with chronic and acute diseases

The aim of the study was to analyze the possible diff erences in visual art expression between children with chronic/acute diseasesand healthy children. Study hypothesis was that sick children would probably use darker shades and occupy less space in the drawing.Considering the unfavorable consequences of the disease, the aim was to assess whether children would express their sadness,fear and anxiety about their disease through drawings. The study included 22 children suff ering from chronic or acute diseases andhospitalized at Department of Pediatrics, and 102 healthy children from the Stobreč Elementary School, of which 22 drawings werechosen. The children were asked to make a drawing by their own choice and a family drawing during a homeroom class. Studyresults did not confi rm the preset hypothesis, i.e. there was no signifi cant diff erence in using dark shades and space in drawingsbetween the two groups of children. Other results obtained by analysis and comparison of children’s drawings did not show anystatistically signifi cant diff erences either; both healthy and sick children chose various subjects in their drawings; colors were lessused by sick children; all sick children drew both parents; more sick children drew other family members; and more healthy childrendrew the motifs of sun, sky and grass on their family drawings. Accordingly, study results indicated that there were no signifi cantdiff erences between the drawings made by healthy children and those hospitalized for chronic/acute diseases. Both groups of childrenused the space off ered for drawing in a similar way and used similar colors. In conclusion, the children with chronic/acute diseasesdid not express more negative emotions or diffi culties in self-perception in their visual art expression as compared with healthychildren. Considering some study limitations such as sample size, other relevant hypotheses should be tested on a larger sample inorder to get better insight into the characteristics of drawings made by children suff ering from chronic and acute diseases. Such datacould be helpful in designing targeted programs of encouragement and support provided for children with chronic and acutediseases.
Keywords: healthy children, children with chronic and acute diseases, children’s drawings
Category: -> Uncategorised
Volume: Vol. 61, No 4, october - december 2017
Authors: Anamarija Vuletić, Goran Kardum, Ina Reić-Ercegovac
Reference work: Paediatr Croat. 2017;61:197-203

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