Human figure drawing tasks such as the Draw-a-Person test have long been used to assess intelligence (F. Goodenough, 1926). The authors investigate the skills tapped by drawing and the risk factors associated with poor drawing. Self-portraits of 345 preschool children were scored by raters trained in using the Draw-a-Person Intellectual Ability test (DAP:IQ) rubric (C. R. Reynolds & J. A. Hickman, 2004). Analyses of children's fine motor, gross motor, social, cognitive, and language skills revealed that only fine motor skill was an independent predictor of DAP:IQ scores. Being a boy and having a low birth weight were associated with lower DAP:IQ scores. These findings suggest that although the DAP:IQ may not be a valid measure of cognitive ability, it may be a useful screening tool for fine motor disturbances in at-risk children, such as boys who were born at low birth weights. Furthermore, researchers who use human figure drawing tasks to measure intelligence should measure fine motor skill in addition to intelligence.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies
- developmental assessment
- fine motor