Date of Award

1992

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Educational Psychology, Ph.D.

First Advisor

Donna J. Habenicht

Second Advisor

Wilfred G. A. Futcher

Third Advisor

Lenore Brantley

Abstract

Problem. There is a great current need to assist and understand American children, especially minorities, through their familial and cultural backgrounds. The purpose of the study was to examine the Kinetic Family Drawings of American-Lebanese children to gain information about their relationship with other family members while comparing them with American-Caucasian children.

Method. The Kinetic Family Drawing was administered to 150 American-Lebanese, and 150 American-Caucasian, age 4-17, through Christian church-activities in Connecticut and Massachusetts. The data were analyzed by t-tests and analysis of variance.

Results. (1) There are few differences between the family drawings of American-Lebanese males and females either in the whole group or within different age groups. (2) There are differences in the drawings of American-Lebanese children of different ages. The 4-6-year-olds, as compared to the older groups, included less activity level for mother, father, older, and younger siblings. They drew shorter arms and less complete faces for mother and father, a less nurturing mother, and were facing less into the drawing. The 4-6-year-olds drew a more communicative self and a less attractive family to the researcher than the other groups. These findings could be related to the increase in the ability to draw as the child gets older. (3) American-Lebanese children differ from Caucasian-American children with respect to some traditional values, such as choosing a spouse, caring for older parents, and accepting the advice of older people. (4) The American-Lebanese children drew their families doing things together, such as playing or eating together. The American-Caucasian children drew their families doing separate and individual tasks. The Lebanese drew their families as more communicative, cooperative, nurturing, less tense, and facing into the picture.

Conclusions. The findings in this study indicate that even though American-Lebanese children are open to western ideas and style of living prior to immigration, they still acquire and retain some of their traditional family relationships and cultural values.

Subject Area

Lebanese American children--Family relationships, Self-perception in children

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