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ERIC Number: ED198943
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Jan-31
Reference Count: 0
The Development of the Concept of God in Children.
Nye, W. Chad; And Others
The development of the concept of God was assessed among 120 children between the ages of 5 to 16 years who attended private Protestant and Catholic day schools in the San Diego area. All children participated in a semi-clinical interview. Twelve interview questions were asked as the first step of a probing technique used to initiate a dialogue between the examiner and child. Probing and transcribing of responses continued until answers became repetitive or no response was forthcoming. Responses were listed according to order of appearance across three age levels (5-8, 9-12, 13-16) and were categorized in terms of level (I or II) according to their concreteness or abstractness. Data were analyzed for each of the 12 questions for each denomenational group using a chi square test of significance to assess the relative strength of the relationship between the age by level distinction. A second chi square procedure was then applied to the data to assess the relative strength of the effects of formal religious instruction on the concrete/abstract level of response at each age level. Results suggest that the view of God of young children does not differ across religious affiliation/background. However, with development and increasing flexibility in thinking abstractly, it appears that instruction can have an impact on the child's view of God. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: God (Concept); Piagetian Theory
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Interdisciplinary USC-UAP International Conference on Piagetian Theory and the Helping Professions (11th, Los Angeles, CA, January 31, 1981).