Presentation Title

Parent-Child Storytelling of Real and Fantastic Emotional Events

Faculty Mentor

Nathalie Carrick

Start Date

17-11-2018 3:00 PM

End Date

17-11-2018 5:00 PM

Location

CREVELING 44

Session

POSTER 3

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

behavioral_social_sciences

Abstract

Preschoolers are exposed to fantastic and real events through storybooks, television shows, or fictional characters (e.g., Santa Claus). Children often look to parents for how to understand the difference between fantastic and real information. The purpose of this study is to examine the role parents play in children’s understanding of fantastic and real events, specifically those that are emotionally-evocative. In this study, 59 parents and their 3- to 5-year-olds constructed stories based on images that depicted fantastic or real events that were happy, frightening, or sad. Stories were transcribed and coded for themes related to emotional tone, story content (i.e., conflict), structure (i.e., beginning, middle, end) and creativity. Mean scores for each variable were entered into separate within-subject repeated-measured ANOVAs. Findings revealed that the story’s emotional tone matched the discrete emotional event (e.g., happy stories were happy). Parents and children created story conflicts during the frightening and sad stories more than during the happy stories, but resolved the conflicts in the frightening stories more than the sad stories (p < .01). Frightening and sad stories showed better story structure than happy stories (p <.001), and frightening and sad stories were more creative than happy stories (p < .05). Findings suggest that parents attend to the emotion of the event more than whether the event is fantastic or real. This may be due to negative events signifying a problem that needs to be addressed.

Key words: Parent-child, storytelling, fantasy, reality, emotion, imagination

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Nov 17th, 3:00 PM Nov 17th, 5:00 PM

Parent-Child Storytelling of Real and Fantastic Emotional Events

CREVELING 44

Preschoolers are exposed to fantastic and real events through storybooks, television shows, or fictional characters (e.g., Santa Claus). Children often look to parents for how to understand the difference between fantastic and real information. The purpose of this study is to examine the role parents play in children’s understanding of fantastic and real events, specifically those that are emotionally-evocative. In this study, 59 parents and their 3- to 5-year-olds constructed stories based on images that depicted fantastic or real events that were happy, frightening, or sad. Stories were transcribed and coded for themes related to emotional tone, story content (i.e., conflict), structure (i.e., beginning, middle, end) and creativity. Mean scores for each variable were entered into separate within-subject repeated-measured ANOVAs. Findings revealed that the story’s emotional tone matched the discrete emotional event (e.g., happy stories were happy). Parents and children created story conflicts during the frightening and sad stories more than during the happy stories, but resolved the conflicts in the frightening stories more than the sad stories (p < .01). Frightening and sad stories showed better story structure than happy stories (p <.001), and frightening and sad stories were more creative than happy stories (p < .05). Findings suggest that parents attend to the emotion of the event more than whether the event is fantastic or real. This may be due to negative events signifying a problem that needs to be addressed.

Key words: Parent-child, storytelling, fantasy, reality, emotion, imagination