Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice

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Volume 74 Issue 3 (September 2001), Pages 277-418

The Bene‐Anthony Family Relations Test revisited: Directions in the assessment of children's perceptions of family relations (pages 323-349)

The Bene‐Anthony Family Relations Test is designed to assess the child's perception of family relations using projective techniques. This article describes the test and background to its development. The validity of the test is limited by the content of some items and their categorization, though there is evidence that the test can distinguish between populations that differ on other related variables. A survey of professionals who use the test is described. Despite their enthusiasm for it, the majority of respondents had modified the test in some way, and 86% regularly rephrased at least one item from the test. There were several criticisms of the test, including the positive scoring of ‘sexualized items’. The respondents were also inconsistent in their administration and scoring of the test.

This test is used less frequently in research, possibly because it is not perceived as a sufficiently robust psychometric instrument. However, there is a danger of ‘throwing away the baby with the bath water’. Recommendations are made for the development of a test that reliably assesses the child's perception of the emotional content of relations.

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