ERIC Number: ED196524
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Fire-Play and Fire-Setting of Young Children.
Variables related to children's interest in and play experiences with fire and fire-producing materials were explored in this study. Information for the study was obtained from samples of public school children and their parents. The samples were drawn from the communities of Oakland and Hayward, California, and included 70 boys and 69 girls and their parents. Data were assembled through interviews and evaluations. Findings indicate that 37 children had played with fire and had burnt different items. Half of the burning behavior was done intentionally. About half of the children had been involved in play with matches, and several more reported playing with lighters or firecrackers. In order to analyze fire-play in detail, five categories of reported involvement in fire-play episodes were formed. Categories ranged in frequency of involvement from no episodes to many episodes. The five groups were then compared in terms of family background, child characteristics and child preference (for example their attraction to fire variables). Children who most frequently played with fire were rated higher in 20 mischievous behaviors than children less frequently involved in fire-play. Play with matches was found to be related to problem areas in children's lives. Findings further indicate that fire-playing, fire-setting, accident-prone, hyperactive and delinquent children show very similar behavioral and personality patterns to each other as well as similar family conditions. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC.; Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Fires; Firesetters; Hazards
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (88th, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, September 1-5, 1980).