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Title:What stories mean to children: Low-income preschoolers' emotional attachments to stories
Author(s):Alexander, Kristin Joanna
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Miller, Peggy J.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Speech Communication
Education, Early Childhood
Psychology, Developmental
Abstract:In the interest of developing a more holistic and integrated understanding of young children's experience of stories, this disserstation describes low-income preschoolers' emotional attachments to stories and the cultural beliefs and practices which surround them. Twenty-four mothers, balanced by age (2, 3, 4, 5) and gender of child, participated in an interview study, and two of the mothers also participated in a short-term, longitudinal diary study. Both studies converge on several key findings. Every child experienced at least two emotional attachments to stories. The television/video medium was the most frequent source of captivating stories. However, attachments to written stories and stories of personal experience were also prevalent. Children expressed their attachments in a variety of ways, including repeatedly requesting the story, expressing feelings while watching or listening, and enacting the story in pretend play. Mothers articulated a folk theory that stories serve important emotional and educational functions in young children's lives and described related cultural practices, such as, daily exposure to television/video stories, granting children choice of stories, and encouraging story attachments. The results suggest that children in this cultural group use their "special" stories as tools of emotion management within the context of a distinctive set of cultural practices.
Issue Date:1996
Rights Information:Copyright 1996 Alexander, Kristin Joanna
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9702441
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9702441

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