Using the Diagnostic Drawing Series as a Means of Identifying Graphic Indicators of Suicidal Ideation

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Sheer, Alijah
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
In attempt to identify a unique Diagnostic Drawing Series (DDS) (Cohen, Hammer, & Singer, 1988) profile for suicide risk, artwork was collected from eleven (11) adult inpatients recently admitted to a psychiatric facility due to acute suicide (SR) and ideation. Structural qualities and formal elements of graphic productions found in the artwork of study group data vs. controls were rated according to the DDS Revised Rating Guide and then statistically analyzed. Findings suggest significant variance (P<0.1) on 4 of 63 parameters between the two groups. These included usage of four or more colors in the Tree drawing, less idiosyncratic color usage in picture 2 (Tree) (P=0.07), higher rate of incidence of inanimate objects (P=0.07), and less usage of space in picture 1 (Free) amongst those who were suicidal compared to those in a non-psychiatric control group.