Quintino Aires Institute, Lisbon, Portugal
CIEC — Research Center on Child Studies, Lisbon, Portugal
From a Relational-Historical theoretical framework applied to clinical psychological practice, this study examines the data set underlying the personality attributes of different groups of children with behavior problems as demonstrated on the Rorschach Inkblot Test. To define the groups, categories were established from parents’ descriptions of their own children. This procedure allowed for the formation of three major psychological profiles: hyperkinetic, oppositional defiant, and antisocial (Saraiva & Ferreira, 2016). The major goal of this study is data exploration in a clinical setting, in order to investigate whether and in what ways groups of hyperkinetic, oppositional defiant, and antisocial children differ. These profile characteristics are important issues embraced by both psychodiagnosis and psychotherapy. The participants for this study were 39 Portuguese children, who were private clinic clients; there were 24 boys and 15 girls between the ages of 6 and 14. Their personality attributes were measured using the Rorschach Inkblot Test (Rorschach, 1994), and the Comprehensive System developed by Exner (1991, 1993, 2000) was applied, with the support of the clinical interpretation provided by Quintino-Aires (1999; 2009; 2012; 2014). Comparison of the three profiles showed four common aspects of personality structure: a deficit in cognitive perceptual skills, lack of self-control, limited relational skills, and low self-esteem. Differences in the three profiles revealed factors related to the functional characteristics of specific behavior patterns. Children with the hyperkinetic psychological profile show factors of difficulty in controlling their activity, impulsivity, and overlapping emotions about conscious action. Those with the oppositional defiant profile revealed factors of low self-confidence, low trust in others, high pessimism, loneliness, and structural stress. Finally, those with the antisocial profile had factors of a deficit in coping skills, lack of verbalization of affects and emotions, and egotism.
Keywords: hyperkinetic, oppositional, antisocial, Exner Comprehensive System for the Rorschach Inkblot Test, postnonclassical psychology