A content analysis of children's views of the world


Baker-Brown, Gloria Vaye.




The answers of 713 Canadian children to the question 'what is wrong with the world and how would you put it right?' were content analyzed. The extent to which different types of problems and solutions were identified by the children in the sample was determined. The relationship between the types of problems and solutions suggested by the respondents as well as the way in which the answers varied according to sex and age was examined. The most pervasive problem cited by the children was the state of the natural environment. The children were especially concerned about the effects of pollution . The second most often cited problem involved the social personal aspect of the world around them . This was followed by problems associated with social institutions especially the military. Solutions of a social personal nature were most often suggested. These were followed by social institutional solutions which most often involved political or legal action. Material goods ranked third as solutions to the world's problems. The types of solutions associated with each of the three major problems follow. Problems with the natural environment were most often associated with social personal solutions, social institutional solutions and solutions involving material goods (in order of extent of association). The solutions proposed for social personal problems were most often social personal, and social institutional. Social institutional problems were most often associated with social personal and social institutional solutions. Significantly more females defined the world's problems and solutions as social personal. Males referred to solutions involving material goods and social institutions significantly more often than did females. The proportion of problems defined as social personal and to do with the military increased with age of respondent. As they got older children referred to more social personal solutions and less to solutions involving material goods. There was a non-monotonic relationship between age and mention of social institutional solutions. The proportion of social institutional solutions increased until ages 10-12 years and then decreased again. The results of the study are discussed in light of relevant psychological literature. 


Social Perception In Children




Carleton University

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