Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
The study of imaginary companions in early childhood
This study focuses on the phenomenon of imaginary companions in early childhood. Qualitative research method was used to investigate different subjects’ (children, the parents of young children, and adults) responses to imaginary companions. The information was obtained from: interviews with three children under the age of 8 years old, pictures from these children, and questionnaires from the parents of these children. In addition, 13 interviews were conducted with adults . The important findings of this study are summarized as follows: 1.A young child with an “invisible friend”, can provide more imaginative descriptions. This is presumably as the “invisible friend” is not limited to the physical plane, the young child is better at exercising his or her imagination. 2.The older children still interact with their imaginary companion, even though they definitely know that their imaginary companion is what they pretend. 3.Due to the influence of the context of interview, children may also change the story what they told about their imaginary companions. Suppose childern always receive external information, that makes their stories various and inconsistent. 4.For adults, the reasons that they still remember their imaginary companions may include: for most, their imaginary companions were personified objects, and so these memories could be recalled; and for others, they gave emotions to their imaginary companions or imaginary companions were related to special events, which may have led to a deeper impression within their memory. 5.The periods about imaginary companions can be approximately summarized as follows: respondents created their imaginary companion at about the age of 2 or 3, with the peak of this interaction around from high grades in elementary school. However, after that, these imaginary companions gradually disappeared. It can be speculated that as the respondents were placing more emphasis on the real world, giving less attention to their imaginary companions in their imaginary world. 6.Most adults have a positive association with their imaginary companions, in addition to believing that they help with mental health, other benefits include: promoting imagination, greater empathy, a sense of accomplishment, mastery over emotions, producing self-confidence for experiences that have yet to be undertaken, and providing opportunities for self-dialogue. However, according to the children's responses, they might just create an imaginary companions in order to engage in imaginary play with them, without considering the significance or benefits. 7.If any respondents had a group of imaginary companions, these imaginary companions almost always copied frequently seen real-life relationships. Perhaps they would use these imaginary companions’ relationships and interactions to analyze complex real-life interpersonal social interactions. 8.The story themes of imaginary companions all interweave aspects of reality and fiction, which suggests that stories may be subject to the following factors: toys, TV shows and stories, and their own life experiences. The suggestions of that future studies could include: interviews with high grade elementary students(in this periods, imaginary companions gradually disappeared), to investigate the commonalities or shared experiences with imaginary companions. The attitude of parents towards imaginary companions, and the influence on their children, could also be investigated.
|Appears in Collections:||學位論文|
Files in This Item:
There are no files associated with this item.
Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.