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Title: Children's perceptions of their families during the COVID-19 pandemic as presented in projective family drawings
Other Titles: Family perceptions during COVID-19
Authors: Tzartzanou, Anastasia Eleni
Keywords: Family
Issue Date: 2022
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged children's mental health and family harmony, leading to disrupted family norms, increased family conflicts and family members' relocation and isolation during quarantine. Stigmatization is also evident for families with a recent COVID-19 infection. Children's family perceptions during COVID-19 were investigated, through Kinetic Family Drawings (KFDs), after two distinct sets of instructions (i.e., quarantine instructions and neutral instructions) were given to 12 elementary school children, followed by post-drawing questions. Parental demographics along with the family's experience of the pandemic were also recorded. Drawings' characteristics were categorized as 'negative' and 'positive', while children's responses were analyzed using thematic analysis. Results indicated that children's drawings after quarantine instructions contained fewer positive and more negative characteristics regarding family boundaries, emotions and family members were drawn more distant from each other. Yet, children's self-descriptions were more positive. Likewise, the post-drawing quarantine responses revealed more negative themes. Additionally, children with a recent family COVID-19 infection drew family members in more negative placements but included more positive characteristics in their quarantine KFDs. However, when included, COVID-19 symbols, were depicted as more frightening and intense. Finally, positive KFD characteristics and positive placement of family figures were found to decrease when family crowdedness during quarantine increased. Concluding, quarantine made families susceptible to unstable family routines and deteriorated children's view of family as a resilient and cohesive system. Also, the study showed that KFD functions as a quick, easy, and appealing assessment tool for child self and family perceptions during health crises and quarantine.
Appears in Collections:Program in Applied Educational Psychology

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