Draw and Tell

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Qualitative Health Research
http://qhr.sagepub.com Draw-and-Tell Conversations With Children About Fear Martha Driessnack Qual Health Res 2006; 16; 1414 DOI: 10.1177/1049732306294127 The online version of this article can be found at: http://qhr.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/16/10/1414

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Draw-and-Tell Conversations With Children About Fear
Martha Driessnack

As the demand to include children in research increases, researchers are discovering that few methods exist that are specifically designed with children in mind. In this article, the author introduces the draw-and-tell conversation as a child-centered and child-directed approach to data collection and illustrates its use in a qualitative study of children’s fear experiences. Twenty-two children, ages 7 and 8 years, participated. Sequential mixed qualitative analyses suggest that children’s draw-and-tell conversations provide new insight into how children describe and experience fear and highlight the unique nature of information accessed when using this approach. Keywords: draw and tell; conversations; fear; children’s drawings; linguistic analysis; thematic analysis Children are not here primarily for us. We are here primarily for them. —Max van Manen, 2002, p. 11

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oday, there is a growing demand for research focused on children as actors in their own right. In both clinical and research practice, children typically have been treated as passive objects of study (Barker & Weller, 2003). The focus has been on what happens to them and the processes they undergo rather than on what they have to say (Alldred, 1998; Carter, 2004; Christenson & James, 2000).This construct of children as human “becomings,” rather than as human beings, has exacerbated the objectification of children within research, health care, and society. To date, children have been known primarily through adult observations, proxies, and accounts. As the focus of child research shifts from seeking information about children to seeking information from them, traditional approaches to data collection, such as questionnaires, survey tools, and directed interviews, seem inappropriately adult centered, dominated, and biased (Bradding & Horstman, 1999). This article introduces the draw-and-tell conversation as one example of a child-centered and directed approach to data collection and presents a qualitative study in which this approach is used to explore young children’s fear experiences.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This research was supported by NRSA T32 NR0707061; Oregon Health and Science University, School of Nursing, Dean’s Award for Doctoral Dissertation; and an ELCA Colleges and University Administrative Study Grant. QUALITATIVE HEALTH RESEARCH, Vol. 16 No. 10, December 2006 1414-1435 DOI: 10.1177/1049732306294127 © 2006 Sage Publications

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Downloaded from http://qhr.sagepub.com at UNIV NACIONAL DE COLOMBIA on July 10, 2008 © 2006 SAGE Publications. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.

Driessnack / DRAW-AND-TELL CONVERSATIONS

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CHILDREN AND DRAWINGS
The use of children’s drawings has a long tradition in the fields of psychiatry, psychology, and education (Buck, 1981; Burns, 1970; DiLeo, 1970, 1974; Goodenough, 1926, 1928; Harris, 1963; Kellogg, 1969;...
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