ERIC Number: ED154911
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Children's Impressions of the Social Meaning of Clothing.
Parr, Joan L.; Halperin, Marcia S.
This study investigated the development of children's perceptions of clothing, particularly as a form of nonverbal communication. Sixteen boys and sixteen girls at five grade levels (kindergarten, second, fourth, sixth and eighth grades) were interviewed individually. A series of six questions was asked to determine whether the children used clothing to infer knowledge of others or to send messages about themselves. Responses indicated three developmental levels in children's perception of social meaning of clothing: (1) a focus on superficial characteristics of clothing -- its colors, materials and decorative detail (kindergarten children); (2) a focus on inferences about social and personality characteristics, like cultural background, wealth, and styles of personal behavior (second grade children); and (3) a simultaneous inference of personality traits and compatibility with a particular social group (middle school students). When data were analyzed for sex differences, fewer differences were found than in a similar study of college students conducted earlier. It was concluded that the study demonstrated clear developmental differences and illustrated the value of investigating children's knowledge of highly familiar topics like clothing. (CM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Southeastern Conference on Human Development (5th, Atlanta, Georgia, April 27-29, 1978)