From Bowlby's attachment theory and developmental psychology: a new projective test

the Coffy Test

In the evaluation of child psychopathology, following the concept of the DSM, there is a widespread tendency to "theory-free" assessment, based on scales and questionnaires, which measure the disorder, but do not help to understand it.
Hence the idea to build a new projective test to study mental representations that the child has about his relationships with parents, maintaining the characteristics of simplicity and rapidity of use, which are necessary in clinical practice.

Coffy Test is appreciated by children and takes approximately 20 minutes to administer.

The object of investigation of the Coffy Test are mental representations, the child's way of processing information with strong emotional content: dangers, difficulties, educational prohibitions, exploratory autonomy, sharing with peers, affection and separation from parents.
The Coffy Test assesses the cognitive monitoring of these emotions as an index of mental functioning.
Coffy Test can show a good cognitive monitoring of emotions, indicative of good mental functioning, or, on the contrary, pathological emotional reactions, which indicate worrying aspects of the relationship parent/child to verify and investigate further.
In addition to the clinically interpretable projective material, Coffy Test provides (with online coding) a score to compare with those of reference sample, which consists of 300 subjects aged 6 to 13 years, and with those of three clinical groups, consisting of 200 subjects with internalizing disorders, 150 subjects with externalizing disorders and 30 subjects with more severe mental disorders.

Coffy Test: il manuale

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Coding Criteria

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Coffy Test is available (in Italian or English) for psychologists and child psychiatrists
interested in collaborating to its clinical trials.

The quantitative evaluation has allowed the statistical validation of the test and allows the comparison of the score obtained by the examined subject with the scores of a reference sample and several clinical samples of subjects with mental disorders.
In particular:
1) a school population of 300 non-selected children scored on average around the median of 7;
2) a clinical sample consisting of 200 boys with psycho-pathological disorders of the internalizing type (anxiety, etc.) scored around 12;
3) another clinical sample of 150 boys with externalising disorders (opposition, conduct, etc.) scored around 14;
4) an additional clinical sample of 30 boys with more severe mental disorders scored around 21.
The differences between the scores obtained by the four groups were highly significant (P<0.0001 at the Kruskal-Wallis test).
The scores were not affected by the age (6-12 years) or sex of the subjects.