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The Rorschach assessment of Southeast Asian youth

15 December 1989


Since the fall of Saigon in 1975, the united States has received a tremendous influx of refugees from Southeast Asia. Although many have made a good adjustment to living in a new culture, there are numerous instances where their adjustment has been less than optimal. Increasingly, psychologists are being called upon to provide services for these people. To provide quality services, psychologists must first accurately assess and diagnose the difficulties for which services are being sought. Currently there are few techniques or tools available for assessing the psychological functioning of this population. Using J. E. Exner's Comprehensive System for scoring the Rorschach Ink Blot Test, this study was an attempt to begin establishing normative data for southeast Asian youth, who have migrated to the united States. Based on a specified sampling criteria, a group consisting of 31 boys and girls, aged 13 to 21, from South Vietnam were tested. They demonstrated adequate functioning in their daily living as evidenced by their attendance and performance in school as well as their family and social networks. Descriptive statistics for the variables of the Comprehensive System were compiled. Lambda proved to be an important variable in this study. The southeast Asian values concerning the modulation of affective experience and expression appear to influence the use of form in developing percepts. It seems reasonable that L could be used to adjust the interpretive significance given to other variables, such as the EB. Comparisons were made between the descriptive statistics for this sample and the normative data for 16 year old American youth utilizing a t test for independent samples. There are several substantial variables that are significantly different, such as FM or SUM C. In fact more than half of the variables are significantly different. Yet there are many equally substantial variables that are quite consistent across the two groups, such as R, or D and Adj. D. This study supports the use of the Rorschach cross-culturally. It also indicates the need for separate normative data.


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