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Children's Drawings of Grandparents: A Quantitative Analysis of Images

Images of Aging: Cultural Representations of Later Life

Author: Hummel, C., Rey, J. C., D'Epinay, C. J. L.
Year: 1995
Type: Book Section


Children's social perceptions of elderly life were examined in a quantitative study of 9,606 children's (ages 6-14) drawings of their grandparent(s) from Switzerland, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, India, & Guatemala. Drawings were analyzed on the basis of the characters depicted, activity represented, intercultural similarities, & cultural specificities. Results showed three models of elderly life: (1) industrial - grandparents living alone, isolated from society, & involved in leisure & self-care ativities; (2) agricultural - grandparents isolated from society, but still involved in traditional male & female activities; & (3) hierarchical - grandparents strongly integrated in society & actively involved as caregivers. The Dutch & Swiss drawings conformed to the industrial model, while the Bulgarian drawings fit the agricultural model. The hierarchical model was evidenced in the Indian drawings, & the other countries revealed a mixture of the three models. Content differences in the drawings are attributed to the unique sociocultural characteristics of each society. It is concluded that children's drawings can be productively subjected to quantitative analysis.

Further Details

Author Featherstone, Mike, Wernick, Andrew
Pages 149-170
Publish Location London
Publisher Routledge
Accession Number 8.5.03
Keywords Europe, older

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