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Title: "I felt left out because she picked another friend to take my place"�: Psychological Mindedness and Belongingness in Children's Narratives
Authors: Hendrix, Eliza Belle
Keywords: Text;Psychology, Department of;Honors papers;Student research
Issue Date: May-2015
Publisher: Memphis, Tenn. : Rhodes College
Abstract: A defining feature of the elementary school years is the development of peer relationships. These relationships are facilitated by developing psychological mindedness – the tendency to attend to motives, thoughts, emotions, and traits – and perspective-taking – the tendency to attend to these four psychological qualities of the self and other. Narrative is a critical tool in making sense of experiences, and children come to understand people’s psychological states as they share their own stories. The present study examined 317 personal narratives told by children in the 1st through 6th grades at a summer camp located at a private elementary school in Memphis, Tennessee. These narratives were collected through a story-sharing program known as KidsTalk. Stories were coded for the four features of psychological mindedness and for perspective-taking. Using a mixed methods approach, I examined themes of exclusion and inclusion in stories children shared about a variety of experiences in multiple settings. Two major results showed both an effect of KidsTalk participation on attention to emotion, a component of psychological mindedness, as well as an effect of the program on the overall camp culture. Children whose first participation in KidsTalk was later in the program had higher levels of psychological mindedness in their first stories than the first stories of peers who attended KidsTalk from an earlier date. This is consistent with previous research, suggesting that the implementation of KidsTalk promoted a narrative culture that encouraged story-sharing practices. Implications for educational practice and suggestions for future research are discussed.
Description: Scanned onto a CD and uploaded with the author's permission.
Appears in Collections:Honors Papers

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