The Bird’s Nest Drawing Assessment and the Story: Understanding Attachment Needs of Adults with Intellectual Disability

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Kwong, Elsie
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
This phenomenological study applied the Bird’s Nest Drawing (BND) and the Story to assess attachment styles and attachment needs of seven adults with Intellectual Disability (ID) in Hong Kong. Quantitative analysis included Descriptive Statistics of the General Scales and Revised Adult Attachment Scale (RAAS), and thematic analysis was applied to a qualitative narrative expression. Results indicated three overarching themes. These included: (a) nurturing figures, (b) dependence, and (c) awareness of environment and protection. The findings discovered the attachment needs include a safe space, consistent responses, emotions regulation skills, secure relationships, acceptance, and co-regulation with their caregivers. The study suggested that the BND and the Story can be valuable art therapy tools to assist the understanding the attachment styles and needs of adults with ID. Further research was recommended to focus on the validity of BND and the Story, attachment relationships, risk factors and the related cultural factors for secure attachment development, and the effectiveness of integrating attachment theory in art therapy interventions for adults with ID.