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Departing OFW Domestic Helpers and Caregivers

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This journal was written by Gilda Dans – Lopez of Ateneo de Manila University and Maria Caridad H. Tarroja of de La Salle University. It is entitled “Exploring Human Figure Drawings as an Assessment Tool for Departing OFW Domestic Helpers and Caregivers”. This is from the journal “Philippine Journal of Counseling Psychology (2010) Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 13-38. The statement of the problem or the issue discussed was about the human figure drawings as an alternative tool to giving standard and structured personality tests to departing Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW’s), a tool that can be used for screening and counseling purposes. The authors’ purpose is to find specific indicators that would objectify assessment of drawings of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW’s). The study is descriptive in nature. Correlations was used to specify indicators of global quality, ANOVA was used to determine the interaction and main effects and the LSD post hoc analysis was used to compare the scores. There were two hundred seventy – three female OFW participants in the study, all of whom were departing for the Middle East as a domestic helper. All participants were asked to draw a human figure drawing and each drawing was evaluated by three judges, with at least one judge being an experienced psychologist.

The title of the journal is quite good and appropriate but then if you first read it, you can’t easily understand what it is all about. For me it is too broad. The abstract is specific and short but lacks some information. The variables are stated but not directly. The purpose of the article is made clear in the introduction. It is constructed in a funnel – shaped way. The ideas are well emphasized and the author cited only the pertinent literature. Some section of the manuscript must be condensed because it is too long and makes it too hard to understand and not interesting to read. There are some ambiguous statements but everything is very well explained. The authors have been very objective in discussing the topic. The method was fine and complete; it includes participants, instruments, design and procedure. The procedure is well stated and explained. The results are well shown and represented and the data and table can be easily understood because of its clear explanation. In the discussion it highlights results that are relevant to the use of human figure drawing as an assessment tool. Implications of the findings as well as recommendations for future research in relation to the limitations of the study are likewise discussed.

For me, this is a helpful research and surely important in the field of Guidance and Psychology because the potential of this study is not only for OFW’s but for different groups of Filipino adult as well. I don’t have an idea that human figure drawings have often been used in Psychological assessments in various settings here in the Philippines until I have read this journal. But, I think I have heard about this before or I have watched in the movies the practice of this assessment and I’m really curious of how this assessment is interpreted and evaluated. I am wondering how and why they interpret and evaluate the results and how can they say that these instruments are valid and reliable.

This research studies made me curious and interested to human figure drawings. After reading everything I get more interested about the current cognitive and emotional functioning of an individual. At the end I was surprised of how they addressed these drawings. The overall results may show that characteristic of the human figure drawing of departing OFW domestic helpers and caregivers are differentiated by their educational attainment and development age. But the findings have implications on the use of human figure drawings in the Psychological assessments of Filipino adults, the screening process and perhaps the pre – departure counseling OFW’s leaving caregivers and domestic helpers.

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