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12-10-2020 | Original Paper | Uitgave 12/2020 Open Access

Journal of Child and Family Studies 12/2020

Children’s Narratives of Family Life in Ghana: A Cultural Lens via Story Stems

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 12/2020
Nadine M. Hosny, Adam Danquah, Katherine Berry, Ming Wai Wan
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10826-020-01839-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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A Western worldview pervades the social and psychological study of children. The current study employed a story-stem method to qualitatively explore the daily and family life experiences of young Ghanaian primary school children in urban Ghana through their story narratives. The recorded narratives of 69 5- to 8-year-old children were elicited through presenting stems of common child-caregiver scenarios and thematically analysed. Five overarching themes were identified: daily routines and concerns, child-caregiver interactions, spirituality, death-related fears and depictions, and responses to injury. The narrative themes reveal the likely mental and physical occupations of these children, as characterized by household chores, financial concerns and school concerns, as well as underlying cultural values through their portrayals of parenting values, parental discipline and spiritual beliefs. Story stems depicting common childhood problems (e.g. knee injury) sometimes evoked death and hospitalization subthemes following an escalation of health problems. Possible interpretations for these findings are discussed, taking into account cultural, developmental and emotional factors. Story stems are a promising and developmentally appropriate tool for qualitative analysts to investigate the experiences and worldview of young children in non-Western cultures.

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