Child-centred Research methodology Drawing Psychology
Psychological Society of Ireland
B. Merriman, S. Guerin, Using children's drawings as data in child-centred research, Irish Journal of Psychology, 27, 1-2, 2006, 48 - 57
Irish Journal of Psychology; 27; 1-2;
Child-centred research shows a respect for children and promotes their entitlement to be considered as persons of value and persons with rights. With the growing interest in this approach to psychological research, researchers are using new methods to help them access children’s perspectives. While drawings have been in use throughout the history of developmental psychology, they have more often been used as projective tests than as tools to access the views of children. This paper examines the use of drawings as data in child-centred psychological research, focusing on the benefits of this method and issues of data analysis, with reference to some of the existing literature in this area. The example at the heart of this paper explores the career aspirations of 151 Street Children from Kolkata (Calcutta), India, by asking them to draw a picture of ‘the sort of person you want to be when you grow up’. This method allowed the participation of children who are not literate, and was also seen as an unintimidating and even enjoyable activity for the children involved. Conclusions will be drawn around the potential and actual contribution of drawings to child-centred research.
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