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ERIC Number: ED428902
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
Pages: 22
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
"This is about a Fight": Stories of Violence by Central City School Children.
Walton, Marsha D.; Staley, Michelle L.; Fox, Angela
Recent research has investigated the impact of neighborhood violence on children's mental health and moral development. Based on the view that the way in which children construe their experiences of violence mediates the impact of unsafe neighborhoods and that children's narrative is important for children's construction of self and incorporation of their culture's world view, this study examined how elementary school children construe their experiences of violence as represented in their stories. Participating were all the children in grades 3, 4, and 5 in a central city school in Memphis, Tennessee, a city ranked third in the nation for violent crime. Classroom teachers asked children to "write a story about something that happened to you." Analysis indicated that children wrote stories averaging 113 words, with grade-related increases in words per sentence. Fifty-eight (17 percent) of the 345 stories described violent episodes and 28 described nonviolent interpersonal conflict. Using Bruner's theory of the role of narrative in acculturation, a qualitative analysis revealed how children used stories to construct a sense of self in a moral order. Findings suggested that children who experience adult violence are unable to find motives that explain the behavior of the antagonists and are not able to use the narrative form to identify such violence as nonnormative and undesirable. (Author/KB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A