Characteristics of the street children of Colombia

Child Abuse Negl. 1989;13(3):427-37. doi: 10.1016/0145-2134(89)90083-5.


Psychological characteristics of 56 Colombian male street children, aged 7 to 16, were examined from participant observations and results of three psychological tests given the children. The Kohs Block Design measured their intelligence; and the Human Figure Drawing and the Bender Gestalt measured emotional and neurological functioning. The test data showed the sample to be relatively healthy, intelligent, and emotionally intact. The children's relatively good scores on the tests may be understood by placing their abandonment in a cultural perspective, which includes the children's strong peer support system, their access to adult benefactors, and the fact that the children were developing in an orderly fashion from matrifocal families. The premise is made that by understanding the children more accurately more appropriate help may be given.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bender-Gestalt Test
  • Child
  • Colombia
  • Cultural Characteristics
  • Humans
  • Ill-Housed Persons / psychology*
  • Intelligence Tests
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Projective Techniques
  • Runaway Behavior