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Children's Apperception Test

Leopold Bellak, MD, and Sonia Bellak

Helps describe personality or aspects of emotional disturbance
Paper and pencil
Age range:
3 years to 10 years
20–45 minutes
Qualification level:
All qualifications for Level B plus an advanced professional degree that provides appropriate training in the administration and interpretation of psychological tests, or license or certification from an agency that requires appropriate training and experience in the ethical and competent use of psychological tests. Close

This projective technique presents situations of special concern to children. It consists of 10 animal pictures in a social context involving the child in conflict, identities, roles, family structures, and interpersonal interaction. The supplement (CAT-S) presents children with common family situations (i.e., prolonged illness, physical disability, mother's pregnancy, separation of parents). The CAT Picture Cards and Manual are also available in color.

Children who do not produce stories readily can manipulate these forms as a play technique. The CAT-H consists of human figures and situations that parallel the original CAT.

The Haworth Schedule of Adaptive Mechanisms in CAT Responses by Mary Haworth, PhD is designed to aid in qualitative evaluation of CAT stories. It can also be used to furnish a rough quantitative measure for making comparisons between subjects and groups. Also included: a summary of defenses, content of those most frequently used, and directions for scoring.