Nóra Sebestyén

Primary School Children's Representation of the Interpersonal Relationship between Competitive Parties: The Winner and the Loser

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: competition, winning, losing, drawing, PAIR, primary school children.

Despite much research on competition in childhood, there are just a few studies examining systematically children's understanding and representation of the interpersonal relationship between competitive parties in different outcome contexts as winning and losing. One possible way to examine this representation is via drawings. The aim of the present study was to investigate 8-9 years-old primary school children's pictorial representation of winning and losing with a special focus on the relationship between winner and loser. 30 second grade primary school children's drawings on winning and on losing (mean age: 8,6) were analysed using the PAIR method (Pictorial Assessment of Interpersonal Relationship) (Bombi, Pinto, Cannoni, 2007) which investigates the interpersonal relationships along 6 main scales: Cohesion, Distancing, Similarity, Value, Emotions and Conflict. The results show that 8-9 years old children can clearly differentiate the winner's and the loser's emotional states and perspectives in their drawings. The figures (the winner and the loser), and the relationship between them were represented in a different way in the context of winning and losing. It shows that the interpersonal relationship between the winner and loser is characterized by different emotions and interpersonal motivations depending on whose perspective (the winner's or the loser's) is activated. The results indicate that the emotional and interpersonal realm between the winner and loser is perceived and represented in a different way depending on the child's position in terms of outcome i.e. experiencing the situation as winner or loser.

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