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Logo of jroyalcgpracBJGP at RCGPBJGP at PubMed CentralJ R Coll Gen Pract at PubMed CentralRCGP homepage
J R Coll Gen Pract. 1986 July; 36(288): 325–327.
PMCID: PMC1960701

Can children's paintings of their doctors be interpreted?


There is increased emphasis nowadays on the role of the general practitioner in preventive care for children. Accordingly, an analysis of the child's perception of the doctor and of the factors which influence and mould that perception are important. In New Zealand children's paintings have been used for such analyses. The present study looked at children's paintings of their family doctors in a Devonshire village. The findings show that boys are more likely than girls to depict their doctors as a gruesome or threatening character, and suggest that medical contact has little, if any, influence on character portrayal of doctors. Other factors that might influence character portrayal and are now thought worthy of detailed study, include television viewing patterns, personality, age, home background and artistic ability.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Wallace CS. General Discussion on Shock. Proc R Soc Med. 1919;12(GEN):17.1–19.1. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Irwin EC, Kovacs A. Analysis of children's drawings and stories. J Assoc Care Child Hosp. 1979 Fall;8(2):39–48. [PubMed]
  • Eiser C. Children's understanding of medical procedures. Practitioner. 1985 Apr;229(1402):371–373. [PubMed]
  • Eichenbaum IW, Dunn NA. Projective drawings by children under repeated dental stress. ASDC J Dent Child. 1971 May-Jun;38(3):164–173. [PubMed]

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