Corresponding Author Information: Neslihan Zabcı

Session Abstract: Conduct Disorder is amongst the most widespread clinical disorders. This study was conducted to evaluate the mental functioning of children who show signs of conduct disorder -verbal or physical aggressive behavior towards peers or authority figures- through projective tests. In the study, the mental functioning of 30 boys aged 6-10 years with Conduct Disorder symptoms and 30 normal boys were compared. Rorschach, Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) and Children’s Apperception Test (CAT) were administered to children in both groups: The sense of identity, the nature of anxieties, identifications, object relations, defense mechanisms and drive functioning were evaluated in the protocols. Maternal containing function and the paternal support were found to be significantly lower in the group with children showing Conduct Disorder symptoms. It was observed that the aggressive drive, which could not be transformed by maternal containing function and limited by paternal support was leading to various difficulties: The aggressive drive causes fear of loss of the object and persecutory anxiety, evokes unconscious feelings of guilt and as a result turns to the self. The examination of the answers referring to the archaic maternal imago indicates the existence of threatening, intrusive, and castrating maternal representations. DBL responses that indicate the lack of stable, solid and reliable internal objects were seen frequently. Archaic and damaged representations were also frequent in boys with aggressive symptoms whereas relational representations were intensely avoided. It was concluded that the relational link with the object still exists and searched; needing its survival although the destructive attacks. Intrusion anxiety and fear of loss of the object are avoided through manic defenses, splitting, denial, idealization and projective identification.

Keywords: Conduct disorder, Aggressive behaviors, Rorschach, CAT, TAT


Neslihan Zabcı, PhD | Maltepe University

Neil Serem Yılmaz, MA | Maltepe University

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