Title

Sandplay: An Investigation Into a Child's Meaning System Via the Self Confrontation Method Child (SCMC) Version

Date of Award

2000

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

William Wagner

Advisor Department

Psychology

Abstract

This correlational study was conducted to examine the reliability and validity of the Self Confrontation Method Child (SCMC) version, an adaptation of the Self Confrontation Method (Hermans, 1976, 1985, 1987a, 1987b, 1988, 1992; Hermans & Hermans-Jansen, 1995). Children's general feelings about themselves and their world, as measured by the SCMC, were then compared to those feelings that resulted from children's sandworlds and associated narratives, also measured by the SCMC. Participants were nonclinical boys and girls in grades the 4 to 6. Children first completed the SCMC regarding their general feelings about life and Harter's (1985) Self-Perception Profile for Children (SPPC). Next, they created sandpictures and told narratives describing the pictures. Finally, participants identified the sandplay figure most like them and completed the SCMC from that figure's perspective. Results revealed that 7 of the 8 Indices on the two SCMC valuations demonstrated adequate to very good internal consistency (i.e., alpha = .60 to .89). Only Index S on the SCMC General feelings valuation had poor internal consistency. Construct validity results for the SCMC General feelings valuation revealed a moderate and positive significant relationship between the S and O Indices ( r = .42; p = .04) and no relationship between the P and N Indices. Comparisons of the SCMC S, O, N, and P Indices on participants' General feelings and sandplay Figure valuations revealed a moderate and positive significant relationship between the P Indices only ( r = .44, p = .03). Multivariate analyses revealed no significant gender differences on the SCMC General feelings or sandplay Figure valuations. A significant gender difference emerged, however, on participants' G Index. Specifically, boys had a significantly lower Index G than did girls, t (23) = -2.20, p = -.04, indicating more affective similarity between girls' General feelings and sandplay Figure valuations.