Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Author's Department


First Advisor

Paul E. Panek


The Hand Test (Wagner, 1962) was administered to 50 institutionalized elderly subjects. There were 36 female and 14 male subjects with a mean age of 76.94 years and a standard deviation of 10.48 years. A list of possible subjects was initially obtained from the activity directors at each nursing home. They were instructed to list the individuals which were "alert" and would be cooperative. The subjects were given a brief organic screening device to eliminate those subjects of severe or moderate mental impairment. Those subjects which missed two or less questions were then administered the Hand Test. Following approximately a 35 day interval (M =34.90, SD =.30), subjects were again administered the Hand Test. The subjects were unaware that they would be administered the Hand Test twice. It was hypothesized the Hand Test variables would be significantly correlated between administrations. Results indicated that of the 24 investigated variables, 23 were significantly correlated between test administrations. These results can be attributed to the Hand Test's standardized instructations for administration and scoring, it's less ambiguous and complex stimulus cards, and its relatively short length. Another possible reason for the relatively high reliabilities is that the Hand Test purportedly measures aspects of the subjects personality which are closer to the surface, rather than an in-depth look, as reflected by the Rorschach, Thematic Apperception Test, and the Holtzman Inkblot Technique. The results can also be attributed to the short, rigid, and stereotypical responses given by the institutionalized elderly. The results also suggest the elderly maintain a stable personality structure, as measured by the Hand Test, over a 35 day interval. Implications of the findings are discussed and suggestions for future research in the area were made.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.