Comprehensive system indices, constellations, and supplemental aggression ratings for the Rorschach Inkblot method: Reliability and validity in a child and adolescent outpatient sample

Jacob A Palm, Fordham University

Abstract

The current study had two primary objectives. The first objective was to examine the reliability and validity of the Comprehensive System (CS, Exner, 1986, 1993) for the Rorschach Inkblot Test in a population of children and adolescents treated over the past decade at a not-for-profit community mental health center in urban southern California. This examination included investigation of CS interrater reliability, convergent and discriminant validity, criterion validity, and diagnostic utility. The second objective of the current study was to examine the additive clinical utility of scoring the Supplemental Aggression Rating Scales (SAR, Meloy & Gacono, 1992; Gacono & Meloy, 1994) in the prediction of aggression in children and adolescents, as compared to sole utilization of life historical variables identified as risk factors in the first comprehensive Report to the Surgeon General regarding Youth Violence (U.S. Public Health Service, 2001). ^ The study utilized archival methodology, reviewing psychological test data in comparison to recorded life history variables contained in client clinical charts. The criterion measure utilized was the Aggression Chart Rating Scale-Revised (ACRS-R). Following statistically acceptable interrater reliability analyses, correlational and multiple regression analyses were performed. ^ In general, the current study suggests that while the Rorschach Inkblot Method can be scored reliably by trained raters according to the Comprehensive System, there is much research left to be done regarding specific indices and their meanings. Similar to past research, the CS constellations demonstrated little relationship to diagnosis as currently viewed under DSM-IV (American Psychiatric Association, 1994) categorization. The CS constellations similarly failed to significantly converge with the Roberts Apperception Test for Children (RAT-C, McArthur & Roberts, 1982), which is thought to measure psychopathology in children and adolescents. In consideration of the SAR, the results of the current study were significantly divergent from previously published research, suggesting little additive or incremental clinical utility in their use as compared to life history data commonly available to clinicians in the course of daily practice. Theoretical and clinical implications are offered in light of the first comprehensive Report to the Surgeon General regarding Youth Violence and the current controversy surrounding continued use of the Comprehensive System. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Clinical|Psychology, Personality|Psychology, Psychometrics

Recommended Citation

Palm, Jacob A, "Comprehensive system indices, constellations, and supplemental aggression ratings for the Rorschach Inkblot method: Reliability and validity in a child and adolescent outpatient sample" (2005). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3159396.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3159396

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