Date of Award

Fall 1997

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Tagatz, Glenn E.

Second Advisor

Anderson, Rebecca

Third Advisor

Fox, Robert


Differential diagnosis of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Externalizing Disorders such as Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Conduct Disorder in children is important for providing definitive treatment and a positive outcome. High comorbidity rates and overlapping behavioral symptoms make differential diagnosis more difficult. In his 1986 manual on projective tests, Leopold Bellak proposed some novel interpretive criteria based on neuropsychological testing principles for the Thematic Apperception Test to identify ADHD symptoms. This projective test is commonly used in child and adolescent evaluation batteries. Although it is usually interpreted along psychodynamic or conflict-related lines, in Bellak's approach it is the formal characteristics of the story organization that are significant in identifying ADHD. As a clinician making diagnostic choices and planning the most efficacious treatment possible, my purpose in designing this research was to evaluate Bellak's interpretive method as a means to improving the usefulness of the TAT as a psychometric instrument for identifying ADHD and differentiating it from a similar disorder.



Restricted Access Item

Having trouble?