Asking children to draw a picture of family life is a simple and efficient way to assess their mental health.Children enjoy this activity and are more at ease as compared to filling out a questionnaire or having a formal interview. This past summer, I joined a research project in Ireland called the Healthy Schools Programme (HSP) that did just that. In total, 220 drawings of family life were collected from disadvantaged children aged eight to twelve years. The drawings gathered from this group were analyzed using a technique known as visual content analysis. This method involves examining drawings, pictures, or photographs to uncover common themes that can be coded and analyzed. The overall objective was to understand the connection between depression and how those who are depressed portray their family life, while determining whether visual content analysis is a valid tool for researchers to utilize.

Publication Date

Spring 2015


UNH Undergraduate Research Journal

Journal Title

Inquiry Journal


Brigid C. Casellini


Prakashini lanka, Catherine Comiskey and Carolyn Tobin


Durham, NH: Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research, University of New Hampshire

Document Type