The human figure test is one of children evaluation system used by psychologists. It was validated by Goodenough (1926) as a intelligence test. Later, Koppitz (1968) studied children’s drawings, in order to explore their mental stage. She believed that through drawings was possible to identify both cognitive maturation of children, and typical characteristics of a specific age. The author proposed a scoring system with a reduced number of items (30), used to analyze the drawings, when the child draws man that a woman. The present study want to verify the reliability and validity of the scoring system proposed by Koppitz, in Italian children (N = 1216) from 6 to 11 years. Also, the subjects were also assessed with Raven Progressive Matrices. Analysis of data shows very high correlations (from r = .51 to r = .85) between two evaluation systems, by Koppitz (30 items) and by Goodenough-Harris (71/73 items), supporting the fact that the scoring proposed by Koppitz can be used as a valid and faster alternative. Furthermore, human figure test discriminates skills of children in different age. In fact, scores increase from six to ten years, and then stop. Significant differences have been found between males and females only in woman figure draw. There were not found high correlations between human figure test and Raven Progressive Matrices, confirming the fact that this test provide an adaptation index of development and of conceptual maturation, and not an index of cognitive development. Therefore, is important to use this test only as first screening of cognitive maturation. If a child obtains a score below the average for its age group, are necessary a clinical evaluation and an assessment with more valid intelligence tests.
Keywords: Human figure test, Koppitz’ scoring system, cognitive assessment, developmental assessment.