Observing Children

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Subjects:
Boy-3 years old, Girl-4 years old, Mother.
Hypothesis:
My hypothesis was to determine the effects of maternal presence versus absence on sibling behavior.
Setting:
This observation took place in the children 's home. As a playroom they used the living room because that is where all their toys are. For my observation I used both the siblings and their mother. During the observation I was present including the children and their mother. I am not related to those children. I happened to meet them a couple of times because they are related to my boyfriend. I do not see the children frequently. I will see them only when my boyfriend 's family will invite us to a family get together. I did not interact with the children at all, only the mother interacted with them.

Methodology: In my study I only observed a mixed sex pair of siblings. Where the sister was older than her brother. The mother and the two siblings were observed in the family 's home, in their living room, instead of a playroom laboratory. I started the observation at 5:00 PM. Five minutes before I started my study I explained to the mother that she would have to interact with the children for almost an hour. Then I told her that she would have to leave the room for around the same time, so that the children may interact without her presence. I also explained that after the children were done playing together alone that she would have to come back and ask them to put their toys away. This was the order that the activities were executed and my observation was completed by 7:00 PM. I recorded all of their actions by keeping written notes. I had the mother 's permission to record their activities. The mother was only aware of this, the children did not know that they were being observed. The first chart I used was a checklist in which I observed "the behaviors (of siblings) during maternal absence versus presence." (Linda,



References: 1. Linda Musun-Miller (1991). Effects of Maternal Presence on Sibling Behavior. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 12, p. 145-157. 2. Sandra Anselmo, Wanda Franz (1995). Early Childhood Development: Prenatal Through Age Eight, 2nd edition. West Virginia University. 3. Ann E. Boehm, Richard A. Weinberg (1997); foreword by Jeane Brooks-Gunn. The Classroom Observer: Developing Observation Skills in Early Childhood Settings. Teachers College, Columbia University.

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