ERIC Number: ED381706
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Barriers to Caring--Early Adolescents' Perspective.
Ferreira, Maria M.; Bosworth, Kris
For educators, the importance of understanding adolescents' concepts of caring is critical. This paper explores early adolescents' perceptions of barriers to caring and is part of a large ethnographic study on caring in middle schools. This study was conducted in two midwestern middle schools in a large urban area. A total of 101 students, representing grades six through eight, were interviewed. Information from the interviews was organized into categories according to themes, with the three major themes being "Nothing,""Reciprocity," and "Violence." Results show that the manner in which adolescents talk about barriers to caring is highly contextual. The findings on the four domains examined--"barriers to caring for self,""friends and family,""people in school/community," and"strangers"--revealed that caring and its barriers are greatly influenced by context. Thus, the barriers to caring for friends and family differ from those in caring for strangers. The recurrent theme of "nothing" as a barrier in caring for self and friends and family reflect a strong sense of self-preservation and strong bonds between self and intimate others. As one moved farther away from self and intimate others, the barriers to caring changed to reflect the context. Other results are discussed. Contains 12 references. (RJM)
Descriptors: Child Behavior, Early Adolescents, Elementary School Students, Empathy, Familiarity, Interaction, Intermediate Grades, Interpersonal Relationship, Intimacy, Junior High School Students, Junior High Schools, Middle School Students, Middle Schools, Perception, Stranger Reactions, Student Attitudes
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Lilly Endowment, Inc., Indianapolis, IN.
Authoring Institution: Indiana Univ., Bloomington. Center for Adolescent Studies.
Identifiers: Barrier Behavior; Caring; Social Reciprocity
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-Western Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, October 12-15, 1994).