Investigating the Possibility of a Developmental Trend in the Way That Children Describe Themselves.

2888 Words Mar 20th, 2012 12 Pages
Investigating the possibility of a developmental trend in the way that children describe themselves.


This version of Rosenberg’s research into children’s self-descriptions analysed data from semi-structured interviews with two children; Annie (8) and Kirsty (16). The data was interpreted to ascertain whether, as in Rosenberg’s research, children’s self-descriptions show evidence of a developmental progression and whether locus of self-knowledge shifts from other to self as children get older. Substantial support was found for Rosenberg’s theory that children’s self-descriptions become more complex with age and demonstrate a developmental trend. Some support was found for the idea that the locus of self-knowledge shifts
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The participants are Annie (8) and Kirsty (16), pupils from schools in the Milton Keynes area. They were recruited by the ED209 course team who asked school teachers for help in identifying willing participants.


A microphone and a video-recorder were used to amplify and record the interviews. Rosenberg’s semi-structured interview, with questions on self-description, self-evaluation, self and others, ideal self and locus-of self-knowledge was used. A sheet of A4 with the words ‘Who Am I?’ printed at the top and ten numbered lines beginning with ‘I...’ was provided to enable participants to complete the written exercise. Adaptations of Rosenberg’s categories were used to analyse the responses to the Who Am I? exercise. The analysis of the ‘Who Am I?’ statements was presented on category analysis forms (appendix 1). A consent form was provided for the parents of the children to sign.


The interviews took place in May 2005 during the day. Both children were interviewed by members of the ED209 course team in familiar rooms used by the schools. Annie was accompanied by a classroom assistant. The participants were told that they could stop the interviews at any time and were briefed as to the purpose of the research. A sound recordist and producer were present but efforts were made to ensure that neither

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