ERIC Number: ED440316
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
Children's Responses to Psychological Maltreatment in Fairy Tales.
Paris, Norma Jean
This paper presents and discusses the responses of a class of first-grade students and a class of fourth-grade students to the elements of psychological maltreatment in the fairy tales "Cinderella" and "The Twelve Months." Responses of the first-grade students indicate that both boys and girls felt that the fairy tale heroine let herself be treated badly because she was nice. When asked what they would have done if they were treated like that, the responses of the female students indicated that they believed that being nice would set things right in the end. However, the boys indicated that their reactions to mistreatment would be to strive to defend themselves rather than to passively accept their circumstances. Responses of the fourth-grade students indicated that they felt that the fairy tale heroine let herself be treated badly because she was not only nice but she was also powerless. When asked what they would have done if they were treated like that, both boys and girls thought that they would strive to defend themselves or would actively seek to change their circumstances. The study has practical applications in that it appears that fairy tales can be used as a resource for raising children's awareness of the elements of psychological maltreatment. The paper also includes a discussion of the theoretical frameworks thought to be important in explaining the importance and impact of fairy tales, including psychoanalytic, social-learning, behavioral, and feminist viewpoints. (Contains 26 references.) (GCP)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the National Association of School Psychologists (32nd, New Orleans, LA, March 28-April 1, 2000).