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A narrative analysis of the stories of children who witness domestic abuse 1997

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A NARRATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE STORIES OF CHILDREN WHO WITNESS DOMESTIC ABUSE by STEPHEN DOUGLAS B.A., The University of Toronto, 1984 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTERS OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of Counselling Psychology We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA March, 1997 Copyright 1997 by Stephen Douglas In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. 1 further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of CoaM\^g\VAQ ^$y<iW\(9aL/ The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date t\YrA8VV mi. DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT It is estimated that over 500,000 Canadian homes live with family violence (B.C./Yukon Society of Transition Houses, 1995). Research in the past decade has examined the relationship between spousal abuse and childhood adjustment assessed through behavior. The cognitive-emotional processes through which a child attempts to adjust to a domestic atmosphere of violence, however, remain largely unexplored. This study therefore sought to gain insight into the internal working models of children who witness domestic violence. Twenty-five children between the ages of 7 and 12 were interviewed using the projective technique of storytelling, prior to participating in the Children Who Witness Abuse Program operated by three Lower Mainland Vancouver agencies. Their temperament was rated along the dimensions of Emotionality, Activity, and Sociability by the group counsellors at the end of the ten-week program using the Colorado Childhood Temperament Inventory (Buss & Plomin, 1984). Subjective observations of behavioral styles within the group were also'noted. This was an exploratory study. In the analysis, life scripts were identified from the stories narrated by these children. Individually, each child's cognitive interpretations, affective experience, and developmental needs were examined to suggest an appropriate therapeutic response. HI Three clusters of life scripts were identified. One cluster includes children with the life script, "You can/must figure it out/solve the problem/ fix it." The second cluster expresses, "I must get what I want." The third cluster shares a common perception, "The world is a dangerous place, so..." The conclusion to this script varies, according to which the study has identified five subgroups; "...get help," "...you will feel sad," "...get away and hide," "...you'll get hurt," and "...don't worry, it will get better and you will feel happy then." These clusters aid counsellors and group facilitators in recognizing children's adjustment processes and needs. In the discussion, the intermediary role of temperament was examined. Results were evaluated according to the Cycle-of-Violence Hypothesis, family systems, attachment theory, and literature on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Finally, the role of variables cited in previous studies was considered, including gender, time since separation, shelter versus non-shelter populations, position within their family constellation, ongoing contact with the abusive parent, parents' abuse of drugs or alcohol, and physical, sexual, or emotional abuse experienced directly by the children. The merits of the storytelling interview as an intake instrument have been demonstrated. This study has generated tentative hypotheses to be tested for validity through future research. This may contribute to our understanding of the affective and cognitive interpretations of children who witness domestic abuse that, in turn, can enhance their therapists' interventions. IV TABLE OF CONTENTS Page TITLE PAGE i ABSTRACT ii TABLE OF CONTENTS iv LIST OF TABLES ix LIST OF FIGURES x ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS xii CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1 CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW 7 Review of Research on the Influence of Interparental Violence upon Children . 7 The Role of Gender 8 Shelter vs. Non-Shelter Populations 10 Cumulative Stressor Hypothesis 10 The Indirect Influence of Other Parental Behaviors 11 Developmental Considerations 11 The Family Disruption Hypothesis 13 Cycle-of-Violence Hypothesis 14 Summary of the Variables Identified 16 Non-Clinical Coping Behaviors 17 Directions for Research 17 Storytelling and Narrative Applications 19 Thematic Tests 22 Import Analysis and Life Scripts 24 Use of Stimulus. 25 Heroes and Antagonists 26 Agency and Communion 27 The Mediating Influence of Temperament 30 Temperament Theory 32 Emotionality 35 Activity 37 Sociability 39 The Colorado Childhood Temperament Inventory 41 Implications for Children Who Witness Abuse. 45 Operationalizing the Question 4 6 CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY 47 Method 47 Design of the Study 47 Target Population 49 Developmental Considerations 50 Characteristics of the Participants 51 Ethnic Representation 52 Temperament Survey 53 Training of Interviewers and Raters 54 Storytelling Procedure 55 Import Analysis 57 Additional Comments by the Counsellor Profiling the Child's Coping Style 59 CHAPTER 4: RESULTS 61 Characteristics of the Participants in this Study 62 Analysis of Individual Stories 63 Gl 65 G2 67 G3 79 G4 72 G5 76 G6 78 G7 80 G8 82 G9 84 GIO 86 Bl 88 B2 90 B3 92 B4 94 B5 96 B6 98 B7 101 B8 104 B9 106 BIO 109 Bll Ill B12 114 B13 116 B14 119 B15 121 Summary of Individual Stories 123 Gender Differences 125 VI Observations Available in Individual Cases. . . . 126 Screening for Group 12 6 Group Planning 12 6 Identifying Degrees of Agency 128 Identifying Degrees of Communion 129 Developmental Considerations 129 Indication of Abuse 130 Life Script Clusters 130 Cluster 1. "You can/must figure it out/solve the problem/ fix it" 131 Cluster 2. "I must get what I want" 132 Cluster 3. "The world is a dangerous place, so..." 135 Subgroup 3(a) "...get help" 135 Subgroup 3(b) Subgroup 3(c) Subgroup 3(d) Subgroup 3(e) .you will feel sad" . 136 .get away and hide" . 137 .you'll get hurt" . . 137 .don't worry, it will get better and you will feel happy then" . 137 Summary 138 CHAPTER 5: DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS 140 The Intermediary Role of Temperament 141 Temperament Scores of Participants 141 Frequency of Affective Words According to Temperament 146 Script Clusters along Temperamental Dimensions 149 Cluster 1. "You can/must figure it out/ solve the problem/ fix it". . 149 Cluster 2. "I must get what I want" . . 152 Cluster 3. "The world is a dangerous place, so..." 156 Subgroups 3(a)"...get help"/ 3(b) "... you will feel sad" 156 Subgroup 3(c)"...get away and hide"158 Subgroup 3(d) "...you'll get hurt" 158 Subgroup 3(e) "...don't worry, it will get better and you will feel happy then" 159 Vll Implications 161 Implications for the Cycle of Violence Hypothesis 161 Implications for the Family Disruption Hypothesis 163 Implications for Attachment Theory 165 Indications of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorderl69 Implications Regarding the Role of Other Variables 170 Gender 171 Short- versus Long-Term Differences . . 174 Difference of Being in a Shelter. . . . 177 Family Constellation 178 Ongoing Contact with Abusive Parent . . 184 Other Previous or Concurrent Counsellingl85 Parents Use of Drugs and Alcohol. . . . 186 Direct Physical, Verbal or Sexual Abuse of the Child 187 Application of the Storytelling Technique. . 189 Summary 192 CHAPTER 6: LIMITATIONS AND CONCLUSIONS 196 Summary 196 Limitations 197 Limitations Related to the Design of the Study 198 Limitations Related to the Sample 200 Questions Pertaining to the Choice and Use of the Temperament Instrument (CCTI) . . . 201 Limitations Related to th Analysis 202 Suggestions for Further Research 202 Quantitative Analysis 202 Qualitative Analysis 203 The Study of Temperament 204 Replication 205 Other Implications 205 Conclusion 206 REFERENCES 207 vm APPENDICES 217 Appendix A. Research Approval Form 217 Appendix B. Sample Letter of Transmittal 219 Appendix C. Parent or Guardian Permission Form. . 223 Appendix D. Pre-group Interview Questionnaire . . 225 Appendix E. Storytelling Technique 227 Appendix F. Temperament Survey 229 Appendix G. Stories 231 IX Page Table Table Table Table Table Table 1 2 3 4 5 6 LIST OF TABLES Longitudinal Correlations of EAS Temperament (Schmitz, 1994) 43 Interrater Correlations of EAS Temperament (Schmitz, 1994) 44 Ethnic Representation Among Participants in Study 53 Characteristics of the Participants in this Study 62 Life Scripts Produced from Children's Stories 124 CCTI Temperament Scores for Participants with Non-Matched Comparison Group (Schmitz, 1994) 142 LIST OF FIGURES Page Figure 1 EAS Temperament Scores for Participants . . 145 Figure 2 Frequency and Valence of Affect References According to Temperament 14 8 Figure 3 Cluster 1 Showing Group Behavior and Temperament 151 Figure 4 Cluster 2 Showing Group Behavior and Temperament 153 Figure 5 Cluster 3 Subgroups (a) and (b) Showing Group Behavior and Temperament 157 Figure 6 Cluster 3 Subgroups (c),(d) and (e) Showing Group Behavior and Temperament 159 Figure 7 Boys, Showing Group Behavior, Age and Temperament 172 Figure 8 Girls, Showing Group Behavior, Age and Temperament 172 Figure 9 Participants Less than Two Years since Separation Showing Group Behavior and Temperament 176 Figure 10 Participants Two Years or More since Separation Showing Group Behavior and Temperament 176 Figure 11 Participants Living in Shelter during Transition 177 Figure 12 Participant's Family Position - Youngest Child Showing Group Behavior and Temperament. 180 Figure 13 Participant's Family Position - Middle Child Showing Group Behavior and Temperament. 180 Figure 14 Participant's Family Position - Eldest Child Showing Group Behavior and Temperament. 182 XI Figure 15 Participant's Family Position - Only Child Showing Group Behavior and Temperament. Figure 16 Participant's Parent Drug/Alcohol Abuse Reported Showing Group Behavior and Temperament , 182 186 Figure 17 Participants Abused Directly (Reported) Showing Group Behavior and Temperament. 188 Figure 18 Children Declining to Tell a Story about Two Parents Fighting Showing Group Behavior and Temperament 190 xu ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I wish to thank each of the committee members for the considerable influence they have had upon my approach to counselling children. I hope that this study duly honours each of their contributions. Dr. Larry Cochran has helped countless students, including myself, become attuned to the expressions of clients through projective techniques such as storytelling. The idea for this study was borne under his guidance and instruction. Diane Pollard has been an inspiration to me through her commitment to the children of this province and her recognition of their individual needs. Our discussions on temperament have been a great joy to my intuiting mind. Dr. John Allan has been not only a supportive advisor, but a tremendous role model. The respect he demonstrates for each of his students imparts the need for us to hold the temenos similarly for our clients. For students of counselling there is no greater lesson. I am indebted to the B.C./Yukon Society of Transition Houses and the counsellors of the participating agencies, Maureen, Pat, and Lynn. This study would not have been possible without the time and support they so generously offered. Equally to the 29 children and parents who agreed to be interviewed for this study there is not room to fully express my appreciation. It is my hope that everyone reading this study will gain respect for the courage you have shown. Closest to my heart, I owe a huge thank you for the support of my loving partner, Susan. At times I have been wrapped in the dark cloak of my unspoken response to the testimony of these children. Your love has been a lifeline. As you give to me so freely, as your soul touches mine with your courage, devotion, and understanding, I grow confident that we can brave any storm along this remarkable journey we choose each day to walk together. CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Imagine a boy who is alert in class and responsible, perhaps overly so for his young age. He observes rules and rarely errs in his assignments. However, the teacher notes that this model child has been writing stories about monsters coming out from behind doors, tearing down walls, and sometimes setting them on fire. A few years earlier, we learn, his father broke into the room where he was sleeping in his mother's arms and threatened to kill her. Another boy who witnessed his father's verbal and physical assaults upon his mother now sits resolutely in his chair. He ignores requests made of him and appears frustrated and angry when anyone in a position of authority attempts to speak with him about it. In group or classroom his behavior is a challenge to the facilitator, distracting others and tuning out to tasks that require any personal reflection. A story he shares tells of a hero alone in a castle shooting bullets at others. Girls' responses to witnessing domestic abuse are also diverse. One may be as attentive and eager as the first boy above, while the next is withdrawn and fearful. Some girls seem to act as mediators in an attempt to keep lines of communication open between both parents after the violence has ended, while others may side with their father and criticize their mother. Clearly, the variety of children's coping responses to domestic violence defies any singular characterization. Similarly, each child's story reveals a unique interpretation of the violence they have witnessed. The Task Force on Family Violence has reported that between 50,000 and 70,000 school-age children in British Columbia have witnessed violence directed against their mothers (Minister of Women's Equality, 1992). Absent from discussions on child development and counselling only a decade ago, the impact of domestic abuse on children is now actively debated in a multitude of books and periodicals. Considerable research has been conducted in an attempt to verify the predictions of competing theories regarding the consequence of witnessing abuse. Yet objective analyses of numerous mediating variables have collectively explained only a small proportion of the variation in children's behavior, the easiest outcome to observe and quantify. They offer little insight as to the long term significance of witnessing family conflict. Behavior is only an external indicator of the child's subjective experience and coping ability. A review of the literature reveals that little is yet known about the intrapsychic processes by which children experience, interpret, and react to the stress of living in a home with domestic violence. This research will, therefore, investigate that experience. This study hopes to account for some of the differences in coping patterns noted above by gaining insight into the child's perceptions and internal impressions of the world. A qualitative, subjective approach is required to define the processes by which children make sense of spousal abuse they have witnessed, in contrast to the existing body of quantitative analysis centered on behavior. In general, people believe that things are as they appear and act accordingly unless they are challenged in their belief. The goal of subjective analysis is to discover this "reality" (Feldman,1995). Children, however, vary in their ability to directly relate personal experience through interview, the popular method of qualitative data gathering. In contrast, storytelling provides an effective medium through which children can express their impression of the world, defining themes and elucidating common intrapsychic processes. In their early years, children naturally describe their reality through analogous account. Symbols in representative play and stories permit the child to internalize and make sense of external events (Piaget, 1962; Piaget & Inhelder, 1969). Storytelling, therefore, will be used in this study to provide child witnesses to domestic violence with a symbolic medium through which to express their images of the world they experience. The story is symbolic of the child's world, complete with heroes and villains, resolving psychological conflicts, struggles, wishes, and desires (Allan & Bertoia, 1992). A child's narrative, therefore, will reveal his or her integrative processes. Cochran (1993) suggests that we identify the import of the child's story, often elucidated within a sequence of stories. This, in turn, will help us understand that child's behavior. Coping behavior indicates the child's attempt to adapt to stressful situations according to their own internal representational models. This study begins, therefore, by putting aside the question of causality in order to identify these internal attributions. Stories provided by the children who witnessed abuse were examined to identify themes which might explain how they appraised the abuse between their parents. Some themes appeared common to all the participants whereas others distinguished between them. The goal of this study is to identify cognitive and affective coping mechanisms in order to help counsellors better understand and respond to the intrapsychic processes which underlie observed behavior. A sample of 25 children between the ages of 7 and 12 participated in this study in the winter of 1995-96. They were members of three children's groups facilitated within the Children Who Witness Abuse program in the Lower Mainland of Vancouver. The participants were interviewed pre-group, using the projective technique of storytelling. Their temperament was evaluated by the group counsellors at the end of the ten-week program using Buss and Plomin's Temperament Survey for Children (Buss & Plomin, 1984). Subjective observations within the group were also noted. In Chapter Four the results for each child in turn are surveyed. The narrative analysis provides the reader with life scripts for each participant that give meaning to their adjustment behaviors. Tentative hypotheses are made concerning the unique difficulties they are encountering and the needs they express. The degree to which individual interventions can be proposed on this basis is a measure of the effectiveness of storytelling as an assessment technique. Themes that recur among many participants reveal the broader, general impact of witnessing domestic abuse. In Chapter Five, the intermediary role of temperament is introduced to help explain the differential adjustment behavior noted of children within this population. Children, for example, who experience greater physiological distress may express more dominant needs for safety in their scripts. The relationship of temperament to the themes recurring will further clarify the motives of children within each cluster. Implications shall then be discussed in the context of several theories that attempt to account for children's coping behavior, including the cycle-of-violence hypothesis, the family disruption hypothesis, attachment theory, and post-traumatic stress. Finally, variables cited in previous research will be revisited to consider how these factors influence some children but not others. Yet projective techniques do not lend themselves well to usual methods of establishing validity. Statistical norms destroy the story's meaning as integral parts of a total universe. Thus, it is the purpose of this study to raise hypotheses rather than confirm them. This is an exploratory study which generates many tentative hypotheses to be further evaluated and tested for validity through future research. It is hoped that the themes which are identified can help to explain the sometimes conflicting and contradictory findings in previous studies correlating the experience of witnessing violence with children's behavior. A benefit of listening to children's stories is to generate hypotheses which guide therapists in their interventions (Douglas, 1995). Hopefully, the range of themes which emerge will be useful in expanding knowledge of and empathy for the variety of children's responses to domestic violence. This would enhance counsellors' abilities to support children's needs. CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW AND QUESTION OF STUDY Research into the impact upon children of witnessing spousal abuse is relatively recent. Prior to the studies of Emery and. O'Leary (1982) and Porter and 0'Leary (1980) just over one decade ago, studies focused principally on the parents and overlooked the children who witnessed them in conflict. This chapter will begin then with a review of recent findings in this area of study. Competing theories to account for differences in adjustment are discussed and variables are identified which appear to influence the coping behavior of the child. In addition, literature supporting the use of narrative analysis is examined. It is necessary to establish what significance can be imputed to stories that children generate and how best to interpret them. Finally, the intermediary role that temperament may play is suggested and a framework for its inclusion in this study proposed. Review of Research on the Influence of Interparental Violence upon Children Since Wolfe, Zak, Wilson, and Jaffe (1986) established that problem behaviors arise more frequently in children who witness domestic violence, studies of children's adjustment have been largely limited to what Rennie, Phillips, and Quartaro (1988) refer to as the hypothetico- deductive approach. Each of the studies cited in this section begins with the theoretical expectation of an interrelationship between witnessing violence and behavioral differences, and possibly one or another independent variable, and set out following the principles of experimental quantitative research to prove or disprove the existence of this relationship (Borg & Gall, 1989). The Role of Gender Research into the correlation between gender and behavior illustrates the positivistic approach described above. Gender differences were first identified using the Child Behavior Checklist (Achenbach, 1978; Achenbach & Edelbrock, 1979) . Boys who witnessed domestic violence were more likely to demonstrate externalizing problem behaviors including aggressiveness, temper tantrums, and disruptiveness while girls reportedly exhibited more internalizing behavior including withdrawing, passivity, clinginess, dependency, and somatic complaints (Jaffe, Wolfe, Wilson, & Zak, 1986). Cummings, Davies, and Simpson (1994) suggested that this correlation reflects a difference in perspectives between boys and girls, noting that problem behaviors increased among boys who perceived a greater threat to their own safety and with girls who expressed self-blame for the violence witnessed. More recent studies, however, have challenged the suggestion that a simple relationship exists between gender and child behavior among children who witness abuse. To begin with, some researchers recognized a need to consider developmental influences. Dadds and Powell (1991) found that interparental conflict correlated to an increase in frequency of aggression in younger clinical and non- clinical populations of girls as well as boys (3 to 8 years of age). This is consistent with Jouriles, Pfiffner, and O'Leary (1988) who suggested that younger children witnessing marital discord do not respond differently according to gender because the effects of different socialization practices have not yet occurred. Dadds and Powell (1991) found in children aged 3 to 8 witnessing violence that anxiety increased among boys but not girls, opposite to the expectations raised by the findings of Jaffe, Wolfe, Wilson, and Zak (1986) and others (Ciammings, Davies, & Simpson, 1994) . This could lend support to an alternative argument that boys are more susceptible to diverse forms of physical and psychological stress and have more difficulty adjusting. However this study relied upon the mothers' assessments of their children's affect, raising questions about its validity. For instance, a mother might underestimate her daughter's anxiety if, due to her own gender expectations and familiarity with such an affective response, she is less likely to perceive it as a problem. Notwithstanding, the finding that boys' anxiety increases remains a challenge to the implication from earlier research that boys respond to witnessing violence generally through externalized behavior. 10 Shelter vs Non-Shelter Populations One study which helped to explain these contradictory findings in regard to gender was conducted by Spaccarelli, Sandler, and Roosa (1994). They suggested that bias was introduced by studying only populations of children in crisis and while in transition. Shelter-based studies, they argued, may overestimate the adjustment difficulties in children because the experience of family violence immediately preceded the study and the effect may be short- term. In a study of non-shelter families, both married and single parent, they found that violence directed against the mother accounted for significant variance in girls' but not boys' self-reports of conduct problems and depression, and in both girls' and boys' self-reports of esteem in 4th to 6th grade children. The researchers suggest in the long- term the correlation between interparental violence and externalizing problem behavior in girls increases due to their sensitivity and stronger identification with their mother. Cumulative Stressor Hypothesis Environmental variables such as socio-economic status and residence in a transition shelter have been shown to contribute cumulatively to the problem behavior in the setting of domestic violence. Fantuzzo, DePaola, Lambert, Martino, Anderson, and Sutton (1991) found correlations between demographics and problem behavior to support a cumulative stressor hypothesis. This study found that child adjustment problems were compounded by the interaction of 11 many variables including low-income status, intensity of interparental violence, and transitional residence in a shelter. Shelter groups in particular evidenced higher levels of internalizing behavior problems and lower social competency and self-reports of maternal acceptance scores. O'Keefe (1994b) confirmed that externalizing behavior scores for girls were significantly influenced by the amount of interparent violence witnessed. The Indirect Influence of Other Parental Behaviors Further intervening variables were identified by Spaccarelli, Sandler, and Roosa (1994). Higher depression scores for girls were correlated to alcoholism among their mothers. Boys were more likely to exhibit conduct problems if their father had been incarcerated and this may reflect feelings of shame or guilt. Again, a link to the profile of men who batter is suggested. Button (1996) found that shame and guilt are positively correlated to assaultive males, in addition to a perceived rejection by either their father or mother. Bevelopmental Considerations It was already noted that gender differences are found to increase with age, suggesting the role of socialization increases. Jaffe, Wolfe, and Wilson (1990) observed that egocentrism correspondingly declines with age, so that the older child is also better able to recognize that he or she is not the source of mother's hurt or father's anger. Some children, however, have greater difficulty making this step. 12 A difference may lie in the child's disposition to attribute causation or, as Jung (1923) described, utilize his or her judging function. While some children, therefore, with age are able to say, "It is not my fault that my parents fight," others are more likely to identify with the abusive parent and introject the belief that the victim of violence is responsible. Indeed, Button (1996) sees this distinctive attribution among men who assault their spouses. Batterers tend to see problems in their girlfriends or spouses as an immutable flaw in their personality, which makes the conflict seem unavoidable to them. While Jaffe, Wolfe, and Wilson (1990) provide anecdotal evidence of such attributes among both boys and girls, no study to date has been able to identify the factors which might identify which children who witness the assault of their mothers are prone to make this introjection. Various mediating variables, therefore, have been considered in an attempt to improve upon the explanatory power of research considering the impact of witnessing domestic violence upon children's behavior. Clearly, it is necessary to move beyond a generalization of behavioral response to gender in order to better understand individual adjustment by children to domestic violence. Next studies will be reviewed that were conducted specifically to test the hypotheses of two alternative paradigms to account for the intergenerational transmission of abuse; the Family Disruption Hypothesis and the Cycle- of-Violence Hypothesis. 13 The Family Disruption Hypothesis The family systems school considers the role of the family and the interrelationships of family members to provide a context to understand how domestic violence effects the child. Kline, Johnston, and Tschann (1991) explored the indirect influences of the child's relationship to mother and siblings through a longitudinal study of 154 children two years after divorce. While the direct correlation between marital conflict, including verbal and physical abuse, and adjustment was significant, factors that indirectly influenced the mother's capacity to parent were also identified. Mothers with few economic resources were less nurturing and less modeling of ego control one year after filing for divorce, and moreso in relationship to boys rather than girls. This impacted negatively upon children's behavioral adjustment. Better adjustment was identified in families with a greater number of children. It could be that children with fewer siblings are more likely to become triangulated in their parents' conflict. O'Keefe (1994b) observed higher scores for externalizing behavior increased among girls who had experienced the aggression of their mothers directed at them. Amato (1986) found a negative correlation between marital conflict and self-esteem for children whose relationships with both parents were poor. This study further noted that if relations with both parents were good, self-esteem again was negatively correlated to marital conflict for girls, possibly the result of stressful loyalty conflicts. In contrast, when girls had a 14 good relationship with only one parent the effect upon self-esteem was negligible, supporting the hypothesis of a buffering effect. Clearly, therefore, childhood adjustment to domestic violence must consider developmental needs for attachment and separation, including similarities and differences that exist in this regard according to gender. Relationships with both parents and siblings play crucial roles. Cycle-of-Violence Hypothesis As Jaffe, Wolfe, and Wilson (1990) suggest, family systems theory helps to explore the indirect mechanisms by which domestic violence influences children. Another model, the cycle of violence hypothesis, proposes a more direct influence through behavioral modeling. Bandura (1977) introduced the notion of observational learning, a straight-forward process in which children learn by observing and imitating what they see. Several factors influence how influential this modeling can be, including the affective impact and the reliability and predictability of the event - notably higher in homes where domestic violence occurs - which make it easier for the child to rehearse and retain. A child must also be physically capable of repeating what is observed and this potential in respect to violence increases with age and in relation to younger or smaller peers, siblings, or eventually intimate partners. Finally, the child must be motivated to repeat the act. External determinants such as rewards and punishments play a role along with internal determinants such as beliefs and expectancies about the likelihood of such rewards. 15 Contemplating these factors, the cycle of violence hypothesis suggests that spousal abuse provides both a model for learning aggressive behavior and an environment where it is viewed as appropriate (Jaffe, Wolfe, & Wilson, 1990). A study by Doiimas, Margolin, and John (1994) explored the intergenerational transmission of aggression across three generations in 181 families. Witnessing husband-to- wife aggression as a child was correlated to a higher incidence of perpetrators of marital aggression in the both the second and third generation of men and recipients of marital aggression in the second generation of women. Although Spaccarelli, Sandler, and Roosa (1994) reported that girls who witness violence may display more aggressive behavior, the longitudinal analysis of Doumas, Margolin, and John (1994) did not find that such exposure was predictive of aggression in relationship across any of the three generations of females. They concluded that girls may learn to be aggressive by observing domestic violence but by adulthood they are, nonetheless, more likely to be the recipient of abuse in relationships. The explanatory power of the second to third generation correlation was increased by including exposure to abusive disciplining style, suggesting this is a significant mediating factor. A higher prevalence of physical abuse directed against children occurs in families in which marital violence occurs (Doumas, Margolin, & John, 1994; Jouriles, Barling, & 0'Leary,1987) This may account for the finding of Kaufman and Cicchetti (1989) that while all children who are maltreated, whether verbally, physically, sexually, or emotionally, scored lower on self- 16 esteem and social skills, those who were physically abused also scored significantly higher on peer ratings of their aggression. Fincham and Osborne (1993) caution that parenting style is, in part, a response to the behavior of the child. This may make the interrelationship between marital discord and parenting difficult to separate in assessing their impact upon child adjustment. Summary of the Variables Identified Thus, among children who have witnessed violence, the diversity of variables correlated to behavioral adjustment confirms that gender is not sufficient to predict the impact of witnessing violence upon children. It is evident that certain variables must be considered including the influence of age, nature of violence witnessed, parents' use of drugs and alcohol, socioeconomic status before and after separation, residence experience in a transition shelter, incarceration of father, maternal modeling of ego control, mother-child aggression, father-child aggression, abusive disciplining style, and the number of siblings. Furthermore, the effect is not direct or simple. The experience of witnessing violence is filtered through various children's needs including the desire to express and experience love from parents who hurt one another. They must decide who is responsible. This impacts upon their identification with one parent or another and may lead to triangulation of loyalties, internalization of shame, and reduced self-reports of maternal acceptance and self-efficacy. 17 Non-Clinical Coping Behaviors While research on coping behavior of children in response to interparent violence has focused thus far on problem behavior as defined by the Child Behavior Checklist (Achenbach, 1978/ Achenbach & Edelbrock, 1979), a range of non-clinical coping behavior needs to be considered. Thiessen (1993), for example, identified the following emotional responses in children to parental separation and divorce; abandonment, guilt, confusion, fear, security, loyalty conflict and self-blame, shame, somatic symptoms, anger blaming the parent, acting out, denial, sadness, and withdrawal. No studies were found, however, assessing such non- clinical behavioral patterns in settings of domestic violence. Utilizing measures which have been quantitatively tested, research has excluded the majority of children who cope with their parents' violence by subtler means. This is a significant omission that can be rectified in this study by reliance upon more subjective descriptions of children's coping behavior. Directions for Research Further summarizing the research into the association between witnessing domestic abuse and behavioral adjustment, Fincham and Osborne (1993) comment that many findings continue to contradict one another despite identification and inclusion of a growing number of moderating factors. This reflects, they suggest, an incomplete conceptualization of the constructs. 18 Supporting this position, Jouriles, Farris, and McDonald (1991) conducted a meta-anlysis of 26 studies. They found that marital discord, operationalized broadly from overall marital quality to overt conflict, accounts for less than 10% of the variance in child adjustment problems. Researchers have been determined to validate their theoretical perspective by verifying statistically significant correlations that may not be of practical relevance. Having concluded a summary of research to date on the impact of witnessing domestic violence upon children, several new directions are indicated. First, marital discord should be operationalized concisely. Witnessing of the mother's abuse is a criterion for acceptance for 82% of the participants in the Children Who Witness Abuse program (Tait,1994), making this an ideal population to study. Secondly, as noted in the previous section, non- clinical behavioral coping patterns cannot be overlooked. The subtle nuances of behavioral adjustment should be included in any discussion. Since behavioral responses are indirect expressions of the internal processes of the child, a discussion of behavior complements, yet should not be the exclusive focus of, any analysis of children's coping style. Finally, stemming from the previous point, studies which examine only external measures such as behavior and consider only external influences such as exposure to violence and economic status are limited in their explanatory ability. Research must also begin to explore the internal world of the child. Fincham (1994) argues that 19 individual differences in how children appraise their parents' conflict and how they cope have received remarkably little attention. That will be the goal of this analysis. As one study concluded, "Future research in this field must begin to provide a micro-analytic view of the mechanisms behind the effects of family violence on children" (Spaccarelli, Sandler, & Roosa, 1994, p.94). These points can be distilled into the following question; What internal thought processes and feelings are occurring within children who witness violence between their parents? The study of children who witness domestic violence thus far has focused upon increases in problem behavior using verifiable measures of objective observers. This has generated speculation, but little confirmation of the perceptions of children. This study will engage in a subjective exploration, therefore, of the child's inner world using the projective technique of storytelling described in the following section. Storytelling and Narrative Applications The research conducted in the past decade on this matter gives an indication of the multivariate complexity of children's responses to witnessing violence. Yet, as noted in the previous section, only externally measurable responses, principally behavior, have been studied to reflect the dependent variable. This study, therefore, is an attempt to define the child's internal perceptions that underlie behavior. 20 Storytelling is well established as a psychological technique for diagnosis as well as for therapeutic intervention (Claman, 1993; McAdams,1993; Mills & Crowley, 1986; Schneider & Perney,1990). Polkinghorne (1991) argues that stories reflect narratives that operate as a schematic structuring of temporal events. Individuals give meaning to these events by identifying them as parts of a plot, organized into Gestalt part-whole relations. The plot functions to integrate diverse information about physical laws, interpersonal relations, and the processes of deliberation in reaching decisions. The story is symbolic of the child's world, complete with heroes and villains, resolving psychological conflicts, struggles, wishes, and desires (Allan & Bertoia, 1992). Jung described a transcendent function that is served when individuals create symbols, such as a story, to define their world. It brings about healing because it "...Shapes and formulates an essentially unconscious factor" (Jung, 1923, p.605), thus providing a bridge between the conscious and the unconscious. The story a child creates, therefore, can reveal a great deal about her or his integrative processes. Storytelling and story comprehension is grounded in the human ability to conceptualize. Narrative competence, it is generally agreed, emerges at an early age and is universal, appearing in all cultures (Polkinghorne,1991). As early as age 2, children are able to take on roles in play or map roles onto inanimate objects and by age 4 can make attributions about their internal states through ' projection. However, only by age 5 are children generally able to create play sequences with plots. 21 Applebee found that children's stories grow progressively more and more complex with age, in six stages beginning with prenarrative "heaps" (talking about whatever attracts their attention) followed by "sequences" (involving a time sequence but unplanned), "primitive narratives" (a person, object, or event forms a concrete center to the sequence), "unfocused chain" (a logical cause and effect emerges), "focused chain" (in which the sequence incorporates the central character), and ending, by age five or six, with "true narratives" (with well developed plots in which the ending of the story in some way relates to issues presented in the beginning) (Applebee, 1978) . Beyond this age, children demonstrate an ability to resolve difficult conflict through story. Benson (1993) compared the narratives of four- and five- year-olds in both pretend play and storytelling. With the younger group play was more complex. Within the five-year-old group, however, children produced more complex "plotted" narratives through storytelling. This suggests that storytelling is a valuable projective technique that can be effective in evaluating how children over age five cope with conflict. Assessment with children younger than age five should be conducted, in contrast, through play therapy technique. Thus, storytelling maps the cognitive structuring of school-aged children as they organize the inter- relationships and conflicts in their lives into some meaningful whole. There are, however, several options available to the researcher wishing to utilize storytelling for assessment purposes. How best can insight be gained into the child's intrapsychic processes? 22 Thematic Tests Perhaps the most well established technique for adult personality assessment through storytelling is the Thematic Apperception Test pioneered by Murray in 1935 and expanded by McLelland and McAdams to measure motives of achievement, affiliation, intimacy, and power (Emmons & McAdams, 1991) . The Children's Apperceptive Test (CAT) was developed by Bellak & Bellak in 1975 to provide an analysis of id (needs, anxieties, and conflicts), ego (self-concept, conception of world, interpersonal object relations, and defense mechanisms), and superego functions (Abrams,1993; Bellak, 1975). More recently the Children's Apperceptive Story-Telling Test (CAS-T) was created by Schneider and Perney (1990) to assess Adlerian constructs in children such as adaptivity (evaluated for instrumentality, interpersonal cooperation, affiliation, and positive affect), nonadaptivity (inadequacy, alienation, interpersonal conflict, limits, and negative affect), and problem-solving, in addition to thematic indicators for sexual abuse, substance abuse, and self-validation. These construct-assessments have the merit of being quantifiable and, therefore, reliability can be measured. However, such thematic assessments have two limitations. First, attempts to narrow the focus of understanding to one theory or another and strengthen reliability may come at the cost of the validity of the analysis. Bellak (1975) acknowledged that projective techniques do not lend themselves well to usual methods of establishing validity. Statistical norms, he suggests, destroy the story's meaning as integral parts of a total universe; 23 "A statistical approach to projective techniques is of necessity an atomistic approach, whereas the value of projective techniques lies in their molar approach to personality"(Bellak,1975, p.37). Jung (1923) offered a similar caution, noting that the symbol is meaningful only within the context in which it is expressed and becomes dead or limited to its historical significance when removed from the process of telling. The second concern pertaining to both the CAT and CAS- T are their theoretical assumptions. Critics of positivism argue that there is no such thing as theory-free or value- free observation (Borg & Gall, 1989). The constructs assessed reflect the theory which the investigators choose to attend to. Yet the goal of this exploratory study is to gain insight into the child's perspective, not to confirm the relationships predicted by any particular paradigm. Consequently, a less theoretical frame is needed. One such approach is available through the subjective evaluation technique known as importing. Import Analysis and Life Scripts With training, Cochran (1993) has shown that it is possible for the researcher to identify themes known as imports in stories created by the client. Like the moral of a fable, this import relates a principle of living which that person has developed or embraced and which provides him or her with guidance. Arnold (1962), Cochran (1993) and Schank (1990) each outline steps to follow in creating the import or moral of the story, and these will be discussed 24 in Chapter Four. In general the aim is to help the therapist gain insight into the child's orientation toward life and the events and pressures that may exist. This researcher has confirmed that such imports are consistently available in children's stories (Douglas, 1995). This subjective method of evaluation, known as importing, will be used in this study. Of interest is whether the stories that children tell in general and in regard specifically to an act of violence between two parents reveal their interpretation of those events in their own lives. Schank (1990) describes stories as constructions people use to make sense of episodes in their lives, suggesting that the process by which humans invent stories is an adaptation of real stories into skeleton stories around which facts can be fit. ''Story invention, for children or adults," he writes, "is a process of the massaging of reality" (Schank, 1990, p.35). Consequently, the world the child presents in a story may be quite an accurate portrayal of the world the child experiences. Recurring themes or imports suggest that robust internal models of the world exist, which can be termed life scripts. The exploration of these scripts helps the counsellor to engage the child, identify what he or she has learned from witnessing domestic abuse, and respond therapeutically. Cochran noted, "To live a better story, one must first grasp the story that is being lived" (Cochran, 1993). 25 Use of Stimulus How, specifically, can children be invited to create and share their stories with the least introduction of bias by the therapist? This depends what degree of stimulus is required for the child. Consider the range in of possible stimuli. At one end no stimulus is offered, a child's storytelling may be spontaneous. This introduces the least potential for bias. Indeed, some children express themselves in fantasy narrative often. Other children, however, may require something to tell a story about. At this end more concrete stimulus, such as an illustration, is needed. This is more likely to influence the narrative. To avoid introducing a sample bias, research must ensure that there is no subset of children excluded because the stimulus is too abstract for them to respond to. Thus, the challenge presented in this study was how to introduce the least possible bias into the themes of children's stories while providing an adequate stimulus to enable all children participating to create a story. A concrete stimulus was required. Further, because an assessment was required of the child's internal representation of the world including the violence that they witnessed, their stories would need to be solicited in such a way as to involve their home and parents fighting. However, others artists renditions of adults arguing in a domestic setting may introduce unforeseen bias. Given the variety of abuse witnessed by these children, no set of pictures could adequately be known to provide a consistent portrayal. Even the Children's Apperception Test which has 26 been controlled for bias in the overall population has not been screened with children who have experienced trauma. To resolve this problem, a design was conceived whereby the child created his or her own stimulus, providing the concrete image adequate to prompt story- telling for any child and yet without externally imposing an image which may bias their response. Since the concern of this study was to explore the child's experience at home, where the violence was witnessed, and at school, where the child engages in play with peers, drawings of these scenarios by the children themselves were solicited. This methodology will be elaborated upon in the next chapter. Heroes and Antagonists To this point the rationale has been established for the use of the projective technique, storytelling, and the method of assessment, importing. It is important to consider both the role and the motives of the hero, as well as other characters, projected by the child into a story. An analysis of the role of the protagonist in the child's story reveals a projection of how that child sees him- or herself. McAdams proposes that while identity is formed in adolescence, what occurs in childhood has an impact. It creates an ideology which functions as a ^setting' for identity. This ideology, "...Locates the personal myth within a particular ethical, religious, and epistemological ^time and place.' It provides a context for the story" (McAdams, 1993, p.81). 27 Here the child defines what is good, what is true, and what roles are ascribed within this ideology to fathers, mothers, children, and peers. Thus, it is valuable to examine the identity attributed to each character within the child's story. In particular, insight may be gained into the identity which the child will assume at a later stage in life when, as an adolescent, he or she enters into intimate relationships and takes on new roles. In the absence of counselling to help children explore alternatives to the abusive relationship patterns they have witnessed, what factors contribute to how children perceive adult roles? Are they fixed or malleable? Are there distinctions between children in the answers to these questions? Agency and Communion Also revealed within the story is the child's develop- ment of a sense of agency and communion. McAdams (1993) notes that psychologists have converged in identifying these two general human motives. He defines agency to include the overlapping strivings for power, autonomy, independence, status, which may be emotionally experienced as excitement. It refers to the individual's process of separating from others, the need to become master of the environment, and to expand. The motive of communion, in contrast, subsumes the overlapping strivings for love, intimacy, interdependence, acceptance, and can be positively experienced with an emotion of joy. The individual is participating in something larger than the self. In childhood, that something is related to family or school. 28 McAdams (1993) suggests that in elementary school the child's goals, desires, and actions begin to integrate these agentic motives for power and achievement and communal motives such as intimacy. Erikson (1950) identified developmental tasks of social initiative and industry during this period, which are respectively communal and agentic, building upon the earlier establishment of trust and autonomy, again communal and agentic, respectively. While Gilligan (1982) suggests that the emphasis between these two motives differs between gender, and Jung (1923) considered differences according to personality type, it is still reasonable to state that an enhanced sense of self-worth or belonging enables the child to take new and bigger risks, should that be his or her disposition. Conversely, a new found ability or sense of accomplishment enhances the child's sense of self-worth. It is this reciprocity which relates the two motives. This study, therefore, will examine the themes found in children's stories for the two motives proposed by McAdams (1993). The process with which the hero acts upon the situation reflects his or her agency, suggested by the ability of the hero to effect change in the world, whereas the child's sense of communion or how responsive the child perceives the world to be is indicated by the support or resistance the hero receives from antagonists in the story, independent of the action of the hero (Douglas, 1995). This definition of communion differs from McAdams (1993), who identifies communion with themes of intimacy and how the hero support others. In childhood, theorists of moral 29 development argue, altruism emerges out of healthy egocentrism (Kay, 1970), It is proposed here, therefore, that the roots of intimacy and communion lay in the support the child receives from others. McAdams (1993) proposed that the behavior of children in elementary school is consistent with motives of agency and communion, integrating their wants and desires, yet research into motives in childhood is lacking. This study will seek to identify such themes within children's stories. It would appear that a child whose stories are low in both agency and communion may be at a high risk in a setting where support is minimal and boundaries are not respected, as is often the case where domestic abuse occurs. McAdams (1993) also suggests that motives formed in childhood are only moderately stable over time. They are not likely to change in any significant way from, say, one day or one week to the next. But over the course of the life span, they may indeed change as a function of life experience. This is consistent with the analysis of life scripts and significant in considering the implications of the intergenerational transmission of violence, discussed earlier in this chapter. Patterns of relating are modeled to children who witness domestic abuse that can be either reinforced by parent-child interaction or challenged by the counsellor's interventions. An assessment of children's motives based upon an assessment of their stories will serve as an important reference. 30 In review, stories provide children with a means of expressing their inner world. How can the various themes portrayed be distinguished? One variable to consider, in addition to those suggested by earlier research, is temperament. The next section considers the intermediary role of temperament and theories which address it. The Mediating Influence of Temperament The role of temperament in coping needs to be considered for the following reason. Past research has examined the impact of one variable or another upon coping behavior. If a threshold number of children behave in accord with theoretical expectations then the variable is deemed to be a significant factor. Yet these studies fail to explore the processes by which individual children's responses are differently affected. Why do some boys who have witnessed violence behave more withdrawn even though a more significant number increase their aggression? Why do some girls direct anger towards their mother, whereas others attempt to be the peacekeeper? The attempt to define mediating variables is a step towards recognizing the individuality of coping style. Temperament has recently been considered to explain the differential effect of witnessing domestic violence upon children's behaviors (Moore, Pepler, Weinberg, Hammond, Waddell & Weiser, 1990). Yet only one study could be located which attempted to include an assessment of temperament to account for behavioral differences observed (O'Keefe, 1994a) and it remains auspiciously lacking in 31 even those process-oriented studies which consider other child characteristics such as gender and developmental level, such as Cummings and Cummings (1988), Cummings, Davies and Simpson (1994), Dadds and Powell (1991), Fincham and Osborne (1993), Kline, Johnston, and Tschann (1991), and Spaccarelli, Sandler and Roosa (1994). Thus, while correlational analysis helps identify the many external influences (independent variables) upon a child's behavioral adjustment, an analysis of temperament, in contrast, will explain why many exceptions exist. Therefore, this study will include a temperament survey for consideration in Chapter Five when the role of external factors identified in earlier research are revisited. The decision to distinguish according to temperament is based on this researcher's observations, while counselling children who witness domestic abuse over a five year period, that significant differences exist in how children cope. Certain themes, such as the acceptance of violence as a means of resolving conflict, appear with such regularity that they appear universally accepted by this population of children. Others themes, however, are unique and differentiate each child witness. Some children, for example, express a sense of responsibility for their parents' conflict. A different group contend that they can end the abuse which disrupts the stability of their home environment. Still other children feel threatened themselves and will instead withdraw. These distinct impressions reflect the many ways in which children can perceive and attempt to understand the violence they are confronted with. It is necessary. 32 therefore, to provide a framework which is capable of interpreting such diverse responses. It will be significant to this study if such distinctions of temperament, in addition to the environmental variables hypothesized by previous researchers, do in fact reflect fundamentally different views of the world for children. Temperament Theory Chess and Thomas (1986) view temperament as a significant variable in. the study of child development, an attribute which must be incorporated into any theory of behavioral adjustment. Jung (1923) accepted the role of consciousness in mediation but rejected the exclusive status given to it by Freud in determining coping responses. Individuals, he argued, have inherited different neurophysiological preferences. Thus, the same external event will have different implications for different individuals with different temperaments. What factors determine this difference? If a child's temperament is shaped by her or his environment then it cannot account for individual preferences. A common experience would impact different children in a like manner. If, however, genetic disposition is at least "soft-wired," it would account for how two different children with similar environmental influences might cope differently to similar experiences. Two dichotomous positions were taken by developmental psychologists in this regard (Kagan, 1989). Both sides recognized that temperamental differences are enduring in 33 human behavior. One group argued that a strictly constitutional basis exists for these differences. Theorists on the other side, which included the psychoanalytic school, viewed them as a reflection of the shaping of the psyche, which regulates the ego's interaction with the world exclusively on the basis of earlier profound experiences. The exclusivity of either position was abandoned, however, following the landmark New York Longitudinal Study of infants which established the interactionist view; "Behavioral phenomena are considered to be the expression of a continuous organism-environment interaction from the very first manifestations in the life of the individual" (Thomas, Birch, Chess, & Robbins, 1961, p.723). It is accepted that temperament plays an interactional role to distinguish how individuals respond to their world. Consequently it should be of significance to this study. How temperament can be identified is less clear. Allport (1961) defined a person's temperament in the context of emotions, from susceptibility to emotional arousal, to one's response to such stimulation, the prevailing mood, its fluctuation and intensity. Thomas and Chess (1977), in contrast, linked temperament to behavior rather than abilities or motivation. It seems likely, however, the interaction of both emotions and behavioral response are involved in how the individual responds to the environment. To better understand this interaction between emotion and behavior, theorists have investigated the regulatory function of temperament (Hebb, 1955; Strelau, 1989) and its physiological correlates (Gunnar and Mangelsdorf, 1989; 34 Rothbart & Derryberry, 1981). Eysenck (1973) correlated cerebral excitability and inhibition to the traits of introversion/extroversion and neuroticism. Fox (1989) has validated the correlation between parasympathetic (depression of the autonomic nervous system) and sympathetic (heightening or intensifying of the autonomic nervous system) dominance in infants to the temperament of emotional reactivity. Theories on temperament are converging as more is learned about the neurophysiological role of emotion. The New York Longitudinal Study cited above identified nine dimensions in preschool-age children including activity level, rhythmicity, approach or withdrawal, adaptability, intensity of reaction, threshold of responsiveness, quality of mood, distractability, and attention span and persistence (Thomas, Birch, Chess, & Robbins, 1961). These measurements, however, were not found to be developmentally stable. From the first to fifth years of age the median correlation was only .10, with activity and adaptability (related to shyness and sociability) most stable. Since their focus was primarily behavioral, the validity of this model could not be generalized beyond the age of the population studied. Buss and Plomin (1984) examined this data and confirmed that several dimensions disappeared after infancy. They accepted those which were predictive of later development as valid measures of temperament. Three dimensions have emerged from their analysis which will now be described, including a discussion of their relation to the physiological correlates which motivate and hence sustain them. 35 Emotionality: The nervous system regulates behavioral inhibition arising out of fear or distress in a novel situation. Infants express this through behavior such as sobbing, vocalizing distress, and clinging to mother. Behaviors that relate to emotionality in childhood include crying, hiding, shrinking back, temper tantrums, panicky expression, how long it takes to soothe, response to anger-arousing stimuli, and the threshold of threat needed to elicit fear or anger. Emotionality reflects the dominance of high- versus low-arousal emotional response. Low-arousal emotions provide no particular autonomic arousal, but rather one or more of several bipolar dimensions. For example, a child might express delight or disgust in response to the approach of another, love or hate in relation to another, or hope or despair in response to an experience depending upon whether it was pleasurable. High-aroiisal emotions of fear, anger, and sexual arousal, in contrast, involve autonomic arousal. Distress, other than grief, is defined as a state of high autonomic arousal. Buss and Plomin (1984) equate emotionality, when viewed as a temperament, to distress and the tendency to become upset easily and intensely. Underlying a higher level of emotional arousal is a more active sympathetic (autonomic nervous system) response. Fear and anger, which may be barometers of high emotionality in childhood, are differentiated according to the direction to which distress is expressed. Fear is accompanied by a shrinking from the aversive stimulus whereas anger involves an attack or complaint about it. 36 What compels the child to exhibit fear as opposed to anger? Buss and Plomin (1984) suggest that this may, in part, be a reflection of the interaction between this and other temperaments. Children with a high degree of activity, a dimension discussed further on, are more likely to take action and, therefore, more able to express anger. Controlling and minimizing fearful or rageful expressions of distress is especially difficult for children high in the temperament of emotionality. These children can be "difficult" in two different ways. One way is to be timid and anxious. The other is to be aggressive, hostile, and argumentative. Buss and Plomin (1984) argue that the difficult child is likely to tilt toward one or the other side of this dominance-submission polarity. Also, caregivers may treat infants differently in response to their distress. Boys and girls tend to be socialized differently. Therefore, emotionality may be inheritable, while differences in the form of its expression that persist according to gender, such as aggression in boys and timidity in girls, might be the product of socialization. Buss and Plomin (1984), further, noted the negative correlation between soothability in infancy and emotionality in early childhood. A child who is easily distressed and difficult to soothe, they comment, is often described as having a problematic disposition. Thus, emotionality is developmentally linked to the temperament of reactivity observed in infancy by Rothbart and Derryberry (1981). 37 The relationship is being integrated between behavior- defined temperament, such as soothability (Thomas, Birch, Chess, & Robbins, 1961), motivationally-defined temperament, such as emotionality, defined by Buss and Plomin (1984), and physiologically-defined temperament. Emotionality, for example, appears to be related to sympathetic, versus parasympathetic, dominance of the autonomic nervous system. Continuing with the physiological model put forward by Rothbart and Derryberry (1981), self-regulation is described as the infant's attempt to deal with stimulation and modulate her or his response through inhibiting arousal. This is the role of the parasympathetic nervous system. Turning now to the two childhood temperaments which reflect this motive. Buss and Plomin (1984) identify activity and sociability as indicators of the child's orientation towards arousal. These dimensions distinguish between introverts, who are non-sensation seekers, and extroverts, who are sensation-seekers with higher optimal levels of arousal. Activity: Of the nine categories found among infants in the New York Longitudinal Study (Thomas, Birch, Chess, & Robbins, 1961), activity was the only pure item Buss and Plomin found they could replicate in their study. Behaviors that relate to activity in childhood include movement, talking speed, high energy activities, a preference for high-energy games, and a reaction to enforced idleness (Buss & Plomin, 1984). 38 This dimension recognizes that an individual can choose the level of stimulation within their experience. If emotionality identifies the difference between children according to their autonomic nervous system response to given a benchmark level of stimulation, then activity is the variation in the level of stimulation preferred. Why do individuals desire different intensities? Again, the physiological model helps explain this distinction. In addition to reactivity, which was suggested earlier to link to emotionality in childhood, a second factor Rothbart and Derryberry (1981) thought to be related to autonomic response was self-regulation. Preferences for increased activity may be related to the need to control an external stimulus. Self-regulatory processes in infancy include selective orientation of the child toward or away from the source of excitement (Rothbart, 1989). If the child's threshold to stimulus, described by Buss and Plomin (1984)as reactivity, is high, she or he may seek or self-regulate a greater amount of stimulation. This can be likened to turning up the voliame in order to hear if one has difficulty hearing. The threshold level, if surpassed, induces an increase in activity as the child attempts to soothe him- or herself from the discomfort. Of course, situations may elicit both positive and negative reactivity, and different self- regulatory systems may operate simultaneously (Rothbart, 1989). Storytelling, it is hoped, can help to identify these processes at work. 39 Sociability: Another disposition or motivational force which affects the child's response to a given stimulus is the temperament sociability. This specifically indicates the child's recognition of other individuals and his or her preferred position in relation to them. Closely related to the temperament of activity, sociability is the tendency to prefer the presence of others to being alone. Once past infancy, children learn social skills. Children high in sociability are more motivated to acquire such skills and are more rewarded by social incentives. Whereas differences in activity level may be significantly inheritable. Buss and Plomin (1984) suggest, differences in sociability may be learned early in childhood. What are the rewards? Children may discover that the greater the number of other children or adults present, the more pronounced is the reaction to their own behavior. Children learn mutual responsiveness and this presents an opportunity to initiate or be an agent. Children from homes of domestic violence, however, may experience less responsiveness from their parents. If this model is correct, their temperament may be influenced accordingly and their scores of sociability would be lower. Alternatively, children higher in activity may also have higher sociability preferences, oriented to attain soothing. Some children prefer group play, like to fall asleep with others in the same room, and in general value interaction with others over the benefits of privacy. 40 In general, behaviors that relate to high sociability in childhood include preferring to spend time with others rather than alone, being socially responsive, engaging in many attempts to initiate contact when alone, and experiencing an emotional reaction to isolation (Buss & Plomin, 1984). Children low in sociability prefer isolation, solitary activities, shun attention, and are not averse to boredom. Note that despite a significant correlation (-.30), sociability does not equate to shyness. Sociable people tend to be unshy and shy people tend to be unsociable, but this is not always the case (Buss & Plomin, 1984). Tearfulness, an aspect of reactivity, also correlates highly (+.50) with shyness, although minimally (-.09) with sociability. Shyness is, therefore, a composite of both emotionality and sociability. Once again, the physiological correlates to temperament observed by Rothbart and Derryberry (1981) illuminate this point. If the child is fearful not only of strangers but also of strange events and environments, this reflects emotionality. Such fear-based reactivity is more generalized than shyness, which occurs only in social contexts. Sociability, on the other hand, has to do with motivation. If a child is not rewarded by social incentives and therefore finds social contact to be unpleasant, he or she will experience less social contact, not fully develop social skills and, thus, feel insecure and inadequate. 41 It is possible to distinguish, therefore, between fearful shyness, a reactivity to novelty developing in infancy and continuing through adulthood, and self- conscious shyness, which develops after age 4 or 5 and consists of an acute awareness of oneself as a social object (Buss & Plomin, 1984). Thus, it is difficult to classify shyness as a temperament, in general. Rather, it appears to be a derivative of either of two temperaments; emotionality, which reflects sympathetic reactivity, and sociability, a self-regulatory or parasympathetic response. The Colorado Childhood Temperament Inventory In summary. Buss and Plomin (1984) argue for the delineation of three basic temperamental dimensions; Emotionality being the ease with which a child becomes distressed, similar to Eysenck's neuroticism; Activity or variations in vigor and tempo, a dimension from the New York Longitudinal Study; and Sociability, similar to Eysenck's extroversion. As an instrument for assessment of temperament in childhood in the Colorado Adoption Project, Rowe and Plomin (1977) developed the Colorado Childhood Temperament Inventory (CCTI) incorporating EAS temperament dimensions. The median alpha reliability of the scales is .80. For middle childhood, Schmitz (1994) tested a teacher rating of EAS developed by Rowe and Plomin (1977) against self-report questionnaires and parent evaluations. Longitudinal correlations of teachers' ratings between the ages of 7 and 10 showed high stability for Sociability (r=.44, p<.001) and Activity (r=.26, p<.001) and moderate stability for 42 Emotionality (r=.18, p<.05). These results are summarized in Table 1. Interrater agreement was high for both Activity and Sociability between parent and teacher (.45 and .28, respectively, both p<.001) and between teacher and self- report (.34, p<.001, and .18, p<.05, respectively). Table 2 summarizes these correlations. Teacher's rating of emotionality was not significantly correlated to either self or parent reports. The Teachers' Form was adopted for use in this study, therefore, noting the lower reliability of the Emotionality score. The CCTI Teachers' Form and the EAS Temperament Survey: Parent Rating form developed by Buss and Plomin (1984) share 16 of 20 items in common, including all the items on the Emotionality dimension. Thus, the perception of the rater appears to account for the weaker reliability. It is anticipated that the smaller group context and the trained eye of the children's counsellor will improve the validity of this measure. Further, the high reliability found pertaining to the measure of Activity and Sociability makes this a robust instrument. The use of the EAS Temperament Survey:Parent Rating Form (Buss & Plomin, 1984), despite its higher reliability score on the dimension of Emotionality, was not considered in this study due to requests by counsellors and agencies participating to keep the requirements of participants to a minimum. Use of the Parents' Form, consequently, will be recommended for consideration in any future replication of this study. 43 Table 1 Longitudinal Correlations of EAS, Temperament (S chmitz, 1994) Measure ^9^ 7-8 7-9 7-10 8-9 8-10 9-10 Emotionality Parent rating .71*** .66*** .61*** .65*** .71*** .68*** Teacher rating.24 ** .17 * .18 * .23 ** .27 ** .23 ** Activity Parent rating .76*** .72*** .62*** .77*** .74*** .76*** Teacher rating.41*** .41*** .26** .41*** .33*** .33'•' *** Sociability Parent rating .80*** .79*** .74*** .79*** .77*** .82*** Teacher rating.35*** .43*** .44*** .48*** .38*** .48*** Note: *p<.05, **p<.01, ***p<.001. 44 Table 2 Interrater Correlations of EAS Temperament Measure Year 7 Emotionality Activity Sociability Year 8 Emotionality Activity Sociability Year 9 Emotionality Activity Sociability Year 10 Emotionality Activity Sociability (Schmit: PT .07 .30*** ^45*** .26 ** .40*** .37*** .23 ** .24 ** .40*** .12 .28*** .45*** I, 1994) PS .14 .19 * ,23 ** 25* * * .27*** .38*** TS .07 .19 * .13 .05 .18 * .34*** Note: PT = parent-teacher correlation; PS = parent-self correlation; TS = teacher-self correlation. *p<.05, **p<.01, ***p<.001. 45 Implications for Children Who Witness Abuse Does temperament play a mediating role in how the child experiences the family violence? There is reason for to anticipate that it may. Children with low Emotionality would, by definition, react less to anger-arousing or stressful situations. Others high in Emotionality may be more sensitive to the pain inflicted upon their battered parent or more reactive to their own needs. Children high in Activity might need to express or act upon their need to reduce the family tension by any means available whereas those low on this dimension may not outwardly respond. The third temperamental dimension of Sociability reflects, once again, the child's preference to withdraw from others or to stay present and contactful. Conceivably children with high Sociability may be more likely to cope with impact of isolation present in such homes by talking to friends. These are speculative hypotheses. Through an analysis of the differences in children's imports this study will determine if these influences are, in fact, evident. Of course, environment and temperament are mutually determinant, as Thomas and Chess (1977) pointed out, and dynamics that exist within the families influence these very temperaments. The relationship is reciprocal. Commonly exerted values and relationship patterns may stand out among one or another temperamental dimension. 46 Operationalizing the Question It is the intention, therefore, of this thesis to take a descriptive approach to study how children who have witnessed domestic violence perceive their world. Evidence was described at the outset of this chapter to suggest that increases in problem behavior are statistically significant among this population, yet the variation is minor and little is known about the manner in which this experience is processed by the child. While the connection to witnessing domestic abuse specifically has yet to be explored to any depth, a review of temperament in this chapter suggests that children may adapt differently to common stressful situations according to their temperament. Storytelling technique, in summary, can provide insight into the child's internal model of the world. The method of soliciting the child's story can be carefully structured to introduce minimal bias and preserve the symbolism meaningful to the child. This thesis will, therefore, explore the internal working model of the child through this projective technique. The goal of this study is to discover how children who have witness domestic abuse have integrated this experience into their world view. What common beliefs and values do they share? Which scripts, in contrast, can be distinguished on the basis of temperament? Are children's motives of agency and communion reflected in these themes? If themes differ by group according to temperament, other influences may be at work and other variables will be considered. 47 CHAPTER THREE METHODOLOGY This chapter provides a description of the methodology used to investigate the questions raised in the previous chapter. The design is explained, including a discussion of the target versus accessible population and the characteristics of the participants sampled, then a description is provided of the intake interview, storytelling procedure, and post-group temperament survey. Finally, the chapter concludes with a discussion of the principles followed in conducting the subjective analysis of the stories. Method Design of the Study In Chapter Three it was noted that the research into the adjustment of children who witness domestic abuse has focused on their problem behavior while overlooking their cognitive and affective responses and failing to examine the influential role of temperament. This study will identify more subtle non-clinical coping behavior patterns among children who witness domestic violence and utilize their stories as a projective technique to learn of their internal representational model of the world. Specifically, therefore, the following steps were followed in the collection of data: 48 1. Mother and child were invited for an interview by Letter of Transmittal sent to all parents in the Children Who Witness Abuse program (see Appendix B). More will be said about the rationale for selecting this population in the next section. 2. Respondents completed the Parent or Guardian Permission Form (see Appendix C) following which an intake interview was conducted. The counsellor met with the mother to complete a Pre-Group Interview Questionnaire (see Appendix D) to determine conditions, such as drug or alcohol abuse or number and age of siblings, suggested by earlier researchers to have an influential role in the child's adjustment, as well as the mother's observation of the child's coping response to the violence witnessed. Circumstances of the domestic abuse were noted if volunteered by the mother. 3. A storytelling interview was conducted with the children participating in the study, following the Storytelling Technique protocol (see Appendix E). 4. A Temperament Survey (see Appendix F) was completed by the counsellor following completion of the group and subjective observations on the child's behavior in group were noted. The stories were assessed by the researcher prior to the collection of the Temperament Survey to avoid researcher bias in the analysis. Then the scripts found within the narrative were compared case-by-case to information about the child's circumstances provided by the 49 Pre-Group Interview Questionnaire and inferences tentatively made to the influence of various external conditions and the child's adjustment. Clusters of narrative scripts were distinguished, each representative of a different coping response. Finally, children were plotted according to temperament and the relationship between coping response and temperament was considered. In the sections which follow each of these qualitative assessments will be outlined in greater detail. First, the target population for this study will be discussed followed by an examination of the characteristics of the participants sampled. Target Population The population of children of interest are all children in British Columbia who have witnessed spousal abuse at home between their parents. Since Spaccarelli, Sandler, and Roosa (1994) found that children in crisis or transition exhibit pronounced short-term adjustment difficulties, it will be necessary to choose to study either the short- or long-term effect. This study is an investigation of the longer term influences of domestic violence. Therefore, the target population consists of those children who have witnessed abuse at an earlier age. Each year the Children Who Witness Violence (CWWA) program provides over 1,000 children in B.C. with individual counselling, while over 700 participate in group programs (Tait,1994). This program was selected for study. It is an experimentally accessible population. 50 More specifically, three social service agencies located in Vancouver's Lower Mainland region agreed to participate in the study. This followed an invitation by the researcher to nine agencies which operate CWWA programs in contract with British Columbia's Ministry for Women's Equality. The reason the remaining six declined was due to a lack of time available to commit to the procedural training required. This is understandable given the tight resources facing agencies in this era of funding cutbacks. Since over 80,000 women and children flee their homes to transition shelters each year in Canada (Statistics Canada, 1995), and a great many more quietly find sanctuary with other family or friends, the children referred to CWWA represent only a small proportion of the population of all children who witness domestic violence for whom the implications of this research are being considered. How representative is it of the target population? There may be a bias towards the exclusion of children from more affluent families. Women in families with high income have more resources available and are less inclined to access emergency shelters for women where referrals to CWWA are often made. Developmental Considerations The age of the participants was restricted to 7 to 12. Erikson (1950) defines this latency period as one in which the child's family life is integrated with their world of peers and play at school. Attempts are made to understand their family system and values through interaction with peers at school. Children at this age utilize concrete 51 operations or formal logical thought processes which permit them to learn about the rules of the world and relate them to their own social and familial experience (Piaget & Inhelder,1969). Their interpretation of morality, however, remains singular. It is not until abstract reasoning abilities mature in adolescence that the child is able to recognize that the values introjected in the family system are not absolute and that choices are possible. This is, therefore, an ideal age cohort to study. Themes that emerge in children's narratives about 'a child at school' may reveal how they are attempting to understand the abuse they have witnessed at home. Similar themes are expected in the narrative about the ^child at home' and possibly even in the account of two parents fighting. Characteristics of the Participants Turning to the characteristics of the population studied, this research was conducted during the fall of 1995 during which 35 children participated in the CWWA program at the three agencies. Because the program specifies that these children have been out of any abusive situation for a minimum of one year, this population appears appropriate for the study of the long-term developmental consequences. Volunteer participation was sought by contacting with their caregivers by letter explaining the research and requesting permission for their child to participate (see Appendix B). 52 Three of the families contacted, accounting for 6 of the children in the program, declined to participate. Reasons in two cases were unrelated to the study but rather arose out of scheduling difficulty, the storytelling interview requiring an additional half-hour. The third represented a parent's concern about confidentiality. There is no evidence that any of these families or children appeared atypical in respect to the nature of the violence witnessed or the child's coping response to it. Thus, the 83% completion rate appears acceptable. In total, then, 29 children between the ages of 7 and 12 from 3 agencies were interviewed for this study. Of these, one child was developmentally delayed and could not be included. The data from another two were incomplete, unavailable at the conclusion of the program for interview. A fourth was deleted after her stories were assessed as incomplete, possibly due to a misunderstanding of the instructions. Of these latter three not included due to extenuating circumstances, the analysis later suggested that other children were represented who matched closely their temperament, coping response, and life scripts. It is not believed that their deletion, therefore, significantly impairs the findings that follow. Ethnic Representation; Women of visible minorities experience cultural pressures which inhibit them from breaking their silence and utilizing agency programs. Further, the three programs included all are located in suburban settings, with under- representation of visible minorities. 53 Table 3 Ethnic Representation Among Participants in Study Participants in study Indo-Canadian 0 (0%) Asian 0 ( 0%) Native Aboriginal 2 (8%) Other visible minorities 0 ( 0%) Anglo-Caucasian 23 (92%) Table 3 confirms that the representation of children of visible minority in the study group is, indeed, limited. The reader is cautioned, therefore, that the generaliza- bility of the findings will be limited, in addition to socioeconomic status, to an ethnically homogeneous population. Temperament Survey: As outlined in Chapter Three, Buss and Plomin (1984) examined the nine temperamental dimensions produced by results of the New York Longitudinal Study (Thomas, Birch, Chess, & Robbins, 1961), eliminated those which were not overly stable as well as those which disappeared after infancy, and retained and reduced through factor analysis the remaining items until a robust model of three dimensions emerged; Emotionality, Activity, and Sociability. A fourth dimension, Impulsivity, was dropped after its reliability proved weak and studies could not reach any conclusion as to its etiology. A total of 25 children, therefore, were rated by the group facilitators using the CCTI items for Emotionality, Activity, and Sociability for rating by teachers, following the children's participation in ten-week groups. The Temperament Survey is reproduced in Appendix F. 54 Teacher scores of temperament of a control group used in the study by Schmitz (1994) will be used for comparison in this study. Since the comparison group will not be matched to this sample, conclusions based upon variations from those means are not merited. Rather, the comparison group only provides a reference point or benchmark from which to raise hypotheses, again, to be tested in future research. Training of Interviewers and Raters At each of the three agencies consenting to participate in this study, the group facilitators who normally conduct intake interviews with parents and children agreed to be trained to conduct the Storytelling Technique (Appendix E) and include it as part of those interviews. They were also selected to complete the Temperament Survey (Appendix F) since they facilitated the ten-week groups. This was satisfactory to the sponsoring organization (BC/Yukon Society of Transition Houses) who wished to minimize the intrusiveness of the study. At the outset the facilitators were introduced to the use of the storytelling and examples were reviewed. At a second meeting ach was instructed specifically in the Storytelling Technique protocol (Appendix E), Pre-Group Interview (Appendix D), both to be conducted at the intake interview, and the Temperament Survey (Appendix F) to be completed at the conclusion of the group. They were also contacted at regular intervals throughout the interview period, although no difficulties were encountered. 55 Storytelling Procedure Each child was invited in a pregroup interview to participate with the researcher in storytelling. Some children expressed the reservation that they might not be good storytellers, and this insecurity was responded to with reassurance and the suggestion that this could be a chance for both interviewer and child to learn how to tell stories. At this point the child is given the opportunity to decline, although not one child chose to do so. As explained in Chapter Two, it was necessary to provide the child with sufficient stimulus from which to relate a story. Not all children require the same prompting. To study a group of children, then, a trade-off exists between increasing the stimulus to avoid sample bias introduced when children are unable to participate and reducing the stimulus to avoid a result bias which accompanies more concrete stimulus (Douglas, 1995). Consequently a technique was designed for this study in which the children were asked to draw pictures from which they could tell a story, creating in effect their own stimulus. By avoiding the use of an external image, it is proposed, the introduction of either bias was avoided. Operationalized, the interviewer asked each child to draw two pictures; one of a child (same gender as the child) at school, another at home. Then the child was asked to create, using their own drawings for reference, a story about a child at school and a child at home. As discussed in Chapter Two, it is believed this is a projection of their own internal representation of the world. 56 The only instruction provided was that a story should include a beginning, a middle, and an end. Cochran (1993) emphasized the importance of the ending. It puts the beginning, which reveals the context, and the middle, which presents the problem or challenge, into perspective and reveals the essential meaning of the story. Prompting, therefore, was used if one of these aspects was missing entirely. For example, if the child narrated; '̂Jerry didn't want to go inside. He got angry when he saw his mother opening the door," the interviewer could prompt; "I see, and then what happened? Remember, a story needs to have an ending." While this story may have a moral complete, such as "You will get angry just thinking about someone coming to get you," this is not at all certain. The ending will either confirm or change the import. With younger school aged children, prompts are often required to obtain an ending. Finally, if the second story did not include a conflict between parents, a third story was requested. The child was asked to tell a story about two parents who are fighting, helping explain how they appraise the abuse between their parents. Unlike the first two stories, no stimulus was provided for this picture, that is, the child did not need to draw a picture unless he or she chose to, and no prompting was used. Of course, if the child expressed any difficulty with this procedure at any point the interviewer was directed to convey understanding and permission for the child to decline. Overall, the goal of this methodology was to reduce the introduction of bias to the lowest common 57 denominator adequate to facilitate the storytelling of all the children in the study group. This method was sufficient for all the participants but one, whose stories could not be included. In the interviews, only one of the children related a story about parents fighting in the second story, and two-thirds (16 out of 24) of the remaining children agreed to tell a third story. There was no appreciable difference between gender in the propensity to continue with a story about parent fighting (10 out of 14 boys and 6 out of 10 girls agreed). Import Analysis: Stories were assessed for their import. This meaning or significance was generated by the researcher, voicing the child's convictions or what can be called the "moral" of the story. In addition to hidden emotion, the imports may reveal how the child has interpreted the violence and interpersonal relationships about them. In formulating the import, the direction offered by Cochran (1993) was followed. First, the hero was identified. This process was simplified by virtue of the directions to the child to create a picture involving a child, and then tell a story explaining that picture. In trials using this method, this researcher found that children usually begin the story with an introduction of the hero (eg. "This boy comes up these stairs with a friend..."). Next the beginning, middle, and ending were defined. The meaning was kept faithful to the actual story while elevating features to make them more abstract and general. Interpretations which "read in" features were avoided. 58 As Arnold noted, "While nothing must be introduced into the import from outside, it is essential that it should contain all the nuances of the story" (Arnold,1962, p.62). Arnold further observed how the sequence of imports may contain meaning. A challenge to the child may be explored over a number of stories told in sequence. The imports were examined together to see if they were related. Failing to do so could result in the omission of an important clue into the child's cognitive representation of the world. The stories told by children in this study progressed from school to home to parental conflict, intended to direct the child from the outer social world to the inner personal world. It would be interesting and significant to note whether children's interpretation of interpersonal relations with peers was similar to that of their relations with siblings and parents and the spousal relationship of their parents. Themes were identified from the imports and distinctions noted between accounts of school and home settings if significant. Features were identified that appeared to be significant including qualities of the hero and his or her environment such as the situation and outcome of the plot as well as any notable qualities about the process by which the hero acts, including the degree of support or resistance encountered. Cochran (1993) suggests that that five evaluative questions be addressed of the import to determine the storyteller's principles of living. The first question is to ask what the consequences of the plot are. This indicates a person's degree of personal self-efficacy. 59 Secondly, is the principle true? In the analysis of children's stories the use of fantasy may be developmentally appropriate. It may still, though, reveal something of the child's processes and will be addressed. Third, what values are evident in the narrative? This will be helpful to explore the introjection of parental values that may contribute to the intergenerational transmission of domestic abuse. Fourth, what limits apply to this import? Is it universal or specific to certain contexts? Finally, is it a central principle upon which a child's orientation is based and, if so, is that appropriate? Finally, Arnold recommended that imports be formed before much is known about the storytellers (Arnold, 1962). Since stories of seventeen of the children were submitted by other counsellors this did not pose any difficulty. To avoid any bias in this manner toward the stories of the eight children within three groups facilitated by the researcher, these imports were formulated prior to the beginning of those groups. Additional Comments by the Counsellor Profiling the Child's Coping Style: Once the 20 questions to the Temperament Questionnaire have been completed, the counsellor provided a qualitative statement about her or his observations of the child's style of coping in the Children Who Witness Abuse group. Their notes included accounts of the parents and children themselves. 60 It is believed that a counsellor's perspective of children's coping style could provide a functional complement to the analysis produced by this study. Since the results are intended for use by practitioners in the field, such anecdotal report would include discrete qualities evident to the counsellor that will be of particular benefit in applying the knowledge gleaned from the import analysis. 61 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS In the first two chapters of this thesis it was noted that despite the burgeoning investigation into the impact of domestic violence upon children who witness the abuse, little is known about the intrapsychic processes by which that child interprets and adjusts to the experience. To this end protocol for use of storytelling was developed in the last chapter. Now the results of this interview can be examined. This chapter will summarize the data produced, beginning with the characteristics of the children participating in the study and information available to the counsellor which may illumine the circumstances from which those children are arriving. Early observations by the counsellors of the children in group are also noted. The narrative analysis of their stories will help to reveal children's inner representational model of the world, including their interpretation of abuse they have witnessed. Based on these tentative hypotheses, then, individual interventions and/or group activities will be conceived to address the unique needs of each child. The goal is to create a realistic portrayal of information available to the counsellor prior to and early in the group process, when revision to the objectives is still possible, to determine what benefit exists in including the storytelling interview at intake. Finally, having established the individual differences and unique coping of each child, a discussion is offered of themes observed to recur among many participants. 62 Characteristics of the Participants in this Study A total of 25 children have been included in this study, including 15 boys aged 7 to 12 (median age 9) and 10 girls aged 7 to 11 (median age 9). At the intake interview those variables noted by earlier research to influence children's coping were investigated. Table 4 provides a summary of this demographic survey of the participants. Table 4 Demographics of Participants in this Study Combined Total Boys 7 8 9 10 11 12 Total No.participants: 3 1 Characteristics S<1 Sl-2 S2-3 S>3 2 TH 1 OOF 1 OCO 2 OCN Couns 2 D&A 3 Abuse 1 2 2 2 3 1 2 2 2 2 2 1 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 15 2 4 1 8 7 4 6 5 12 8 6 Girls _9 10 11 12 Total 2 4 1 0 10 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 1 4 2 3 4 4 2 3 2 3 S<1 Sl-2 S2-3 S>3 TH OCF OCO OCN Couns D&A Abuse 25 3 8 3 11 10 8 10 7 15 10 9 separated from abusive parent in past year separated from abusive parent one to two years prior separated from abusive parent two to three years prior separated from abusive parent over three years prior moved into a transition house at time of separation have frequent (weekly) ongoing contact with separated parent have occasional ongoing contact with separated parent have no ongoing contact with separated parent have received other previous or concurrent counselling known prevalence of drug or alcohol abuse by parents known incidence of assault directed towards the children 63 This breakdown reveals consistent representation from all age groups except for girls over age 10. Frequency is highest between age 7 and 10 for boys (11) and girls (9). The children's separation from the abusive parent appears to fall into a bi-modal distribution with 44% of children (11) separated within the most recent two years and another 44% (11) separated over three years. A significant subgroup exists of boys (7) and girls (3) who moved to a transition house initially to flee their abusive parent at the time of violence. The amount of ongoing contact with that parent, meanwhile, is almost equally divided into three groups; 8 children (32%) meet with their separated parent frequently or weekly, 10 children (40%) do so only occasionally, and 7 children (28%) no longer meet with that parent. With this overview of the sample complete, individual cases can now be examined. Analysis of Individual Stories The stories were told by the children in an interview prior to joining the CWWA group. Their sense of safety and trust had yet to be developed. Many children stated at the outset that they did not know how to create stories on their own. The protocol, therefore, needs to be respectful and non-intrusive in order to facilitate the children's creativity and self-expression. It is a compliment to the sensitivity of the counsellors who volunteered to conduct these interviews that all the children interviewed completed the stories. With only one exception all the narratives were complete and could be included in this study. 64 The actual story transcriptions are provided in Appendix G. This section will refer to the imports that were drawn from those stories in accordance with the directions of Arnold (1962) cited in Chapter Three. The analysis is presented for each child in the following manner. First the presenting information available to the counsellor at intake will be described, such as family constellation, details of the home environment, and observations of the child's behavior made by the counsellor. Then the imports are presented in the sequence of the stories told - first about a child at school, secondly about a child at home, and thirdly about two parents fighting. This is followed by a discussion of the imports, identifying the skeletal structure and exploring each for topic, goal or intention, outcome, and lesson, in accordance with the examination suggested by Schank (1990). The goal is to define an overall theme which constitutes that child's life scripts. Then each case concludes with recommendations that follow from tentative hypotheses raised in the analysis. The capacity to recommend interventions is a gauge of the benefit of using story- telling for assessment. This analysis will begin with the ten girls followed by the fifteen boys in the sample. Within each gender group, they are presented in sequence according to family constellation. The first three girls (Gl, G2, and G3) have no siblings, followed by three (G4, G5, and G6) who are the elder of one other sibling. The next three (G7, G8, and G9) are eldest within larger families, and the last (GIO) is fourth in a family of five, but separated by nine years in age from her nearest older sibling. None of the girls is 65 related to another. Notably missing from the sample are any girls youngest in a family of more than one child. Gl This nine-year-old girl is an only child. She has a physical impairment which distinguishes her in group. From the first meeting, she was noted to be a responsible child who opened up and shared once she understood the rules. The imports to her stories are listed below: l.If you work hard and do your homework you will finish your schoolwork and do well. 2.You must do your homework first then you will be rewarded later. 3.When dad hurts mom you will look after her. Then dad will be nice to her, she will feel better and dad will be happy again. The first two imports considered together in sequence suggest that there is a reward for learning how to do things. This is congruent with and helps to explain the behavior noted by her counsellors. Further, the sequence helps to elucidate the meaning of her third story. She acts in the story to comfort her mother and consequently things go well. This causality can be inferred to the third story because it is evident in the first two. As Arnold (1962) suggested, the sequence helps to clarify the inter- pretation. This demonstrates the benefit of soliciting first the stories of the child's outer world before asking for a story about conflict between parents. Her life script is evident in all three. 66 The analysis of the stories' skeletal structure helps to identify her life script (Schank, 1990). Within each import we identify the topic or focus of the hero's attention, the goal or desired outcome, and the result which ensues in the narrative. The lesson is a distillation of the import to its basic moral statement. Topic: 1.school work 2.school work 3.parent's fighting Goal: l.get it done 2.get it done 3.help mom Result:!.accomplished 2.accomplished 3.mom feels better Lesson:!.do your work 2.do your work 3.look after mom The life script, I must learn how to make things better, is observed in this analysis. This is consistent across all three stories representing school, home, and parental crisis suggesting that it is a stable and fundamental perspective of the world. Jaffe, Wolfe, and Wilson (1990) observed that some children cope to the violence they witness by taking responsibility for it and determining what they can do to stop it. The boundary between parent and child responsibility is non-existent. Such children go unnoticed by counsellors and teachers since their behavior is deemed positive. This is an example of the additional insights that can be gained introducing storytelling into the intake interview. In turn, this is suggestive of the child's unique counselling needs. The CWWA group can play an educational role for this child to validate that a parent's violent behavior is neither in consequence to nor the responsibility of the child. Filial therapy with the mother could, in addition, help reorient the child's role within the family, creating more opportunities for play. 67 G2 This eleven-year-old is also an only child. Like the previous girl (Gl), her behavior was that of a model child and she appeared mature, bright, and trusting of her counsellor. She was alert in group to the rules and shared openly in discussion. The imports to her stories, below, recognize a need to persist in one's efforts in order to solve problems, on one hand, while falling back, on the other, upon fantasy-like hope for a happy ending. l.You can make a mistake sometimes and find out you really want to make it better, so you will go back and fix it. Then you won't forget again. 2.If you give things to others, you will get back even more than you hoped for. 3.If parents fight they will fix their problems. If you do well in school they will be happy so you get only A's. These stories demonstrate a positive principle of living (Cochran, 1993). This girl believes that rewards will follow her hard work and good deeds. Such faith might be challenged by the abuse and neglect prevalent in a home of domestic violence. Yet this child retains her magical thinking for protection. She has learned that life can be difficult but is holding out for a positive resolution to her crises; a teacher finds the lost lunch bag, the little girl receives many Christmas presents, and her parents stop fighting and "fix their problems." 68 This hero is attempting to understand how she can ensure a favorable outcome in each story. The solution offered for the third story, that her parents will resolve their conflict, she knew, was tenuous so she added a role for herself almost as an afterthought. The story accounts how the girl's parents felt better because she received good grades. Consequently, "From then on the only thing [name deleted] got in school in grade four, five, six, and seven and higher grades was A." The skeleton to these stories identified in sequence provide a picture of a child extending her childhood egocentric assumption of responsibility into her parents' relationship difficulties: Topic: 1.mistakes 2.sharing 3.parents fighting Goal: 1.correct them 2.to be 3.to fix their rewarded problems Result:1.someone will 2.you get back 3.you do well in solve it, even more school so they'11 then you'11 be happy and make sure it stay together doesn't happen again Lesson:!.go back and 2.be generous 3.keep your parents fix your and you'll happy mistakes be rewarded Like the first child, this girl has responsibility as a central theme in her life script. You can fix things by being good, although her stories are somewhat more complex in their means, appropriate to her age. A karmic principle is implicit within this belief system and is evident in the second story. If you are good to others, they will be good to you in return. This is an example of moral reciprocity 69 (Piaget & Inhelder,1969) which can be likened to the Golden Rule in Christianity, or its Judaic and Confucian equivalents, and is appropriate at the pre-adolescent stage. This child's agency is strong, but her perception of responsibility is without boundary, similar to Gl. Once again, the facilitator can supportively challenge her sense of responsibility through group discussion of roles of children in family. G3 Like the previous two girls, this eight-year-old is a model child in group and has no siblings. She was observed to be mature, outgoing and involved with others in the group from the outset, followed rules well, and appeared to have high self-esteem. She is also one of only two children in the program whose mother rather than father, with whom she now lives, was the perpetrator of the abuse. Button (1996) suggested that when women act as the aggressor in domestic violence, the experience of fear on the part of the male is not as great. Thus, the power dynamics of the female against male abusive relationship are not entirely the same. Perhaps indicative of that difference, there appears to be less urgency in this girl's stories than the previous two. Her stories address social-semantic rules which define friendship. l.Some classmates you don't like and your best friend won't like them either. 2.A best friend is someone you do things with, though you may not get to see them much. 3.Mom will fight with dad and try to hurt him, so dad will leave. 70 The first two stories express that a friendship is valued for how much you enjoy your time together. The sequence demonstrates how she has chosen to interpret the separation of her parents from this perspective. Clearly her two parents are no Ipnger friends. Moreover, she lived temporarily in foster care prior to joining her father following the separation. During this period her custody would have been in question and this may have caused her considerable anxiety. She might have feared losing contact with her father altogether. She expresses dislike, through her protagonist, of her mother's aggression. Like her mother, the antagonist in her story has "a very hot temper" and "gets mad easily." She is "siding" with her father. However, she may also identify with that antagonist. A major contribution of the Gestalt therapy is to recognize the disowned self in all figures rejected by the ego. This is evident in heroes, representing the acknowledged self, struggling with villains, symbolic of aspects of the self that cause anxiety for the storyteller. "An integration, reconciliation, or synthesis of one's opposing sides, positive and negative, is a prerequisite to a dynamic and healthy life process" (Oaklander,1978, p.158). Gilligan (1982) facilitates an understanding by stressing the importance of recognizing the role of gender in the developmental task of ego identification. Boys and girls have distinct attachment and separation issues, identifying with the parent of their own gender. By middle childhood, girls begin to feel the social expectation to be feminine. 71 This girl's mother, however, is identified as an abuser. How does this impact upon her self-image? In the third story the father left the family after he was assaulted by the mother and the significance is not lost upon the child/storyteller. She fears a part of herself, identified as the mother she has introjected, that can be hurtful and drive away the love of the father. Kalter (1990) notes that early elementary school children who experience separation from one parent commonly experience insecurity in the form of a fantasy that the remaining parent will abandon them also. Consequently, a split appears as she disowns that aspect of herself which, as Gilligan has suggested, is identified with her mother. The hero blames that mother-image for the separation and must therefore learn how to stop people she loves from leaving her. Consequently, rules about friendship are paramount to her. The first two imports assert that you can't expect too much from a friend, in particular that you won't get to see them often, but when you do see them you must agree with them, or have the same dislikes. The third import addressing parental conflict confirms the painful consequences if you disagree. This role in relationship is caretaking. Her model behavior in group was already noted. The counsellor observed that she expressed a m̂ aturity beyond her age. Being accepted and doing things right are clearly important values to her. Analysis of the goals and lessons of the stories reveal that a life script that is emerging from this girl's fears. She embraces compliance and fears confrontation. 72 Topic: 1.school mates 2.best friend 3.parents fighting Goal: l.to have a 2.to have fun 3.what to expect best friend Result:!.you have the 2.you don't 3.dad leaves same enemies see her often Lesson:1.best friends 2.you may 3.others will leave are on your lose them you if they side are hurt The sequence of these lessons reveals the life script; Someone you love won't leave you if you agree with them. Her desire to avoid abandonment is so potent that any confrontation with friends provokes fear for her. Yet a child's healthy development includes learning how to express and assert needs. Her family experience has taught her otherwise. The CWWA group can include educational components addressing needs, boundaries, and conflict resolution skills which are important for her. In addition, her sense of communion, specifically needs for love and belonging identified by Maslow (1954), will be fostered within a common group experience facilitated with unconditional acceptance. Children who experience family violence need to know that a parent will commit to their care and demonstrate love for them as well as receive the child's expression of love. For this reason, most CWWA groups run a parent's group concurrently with the children's group where the roles of nurturance and structure are discussed. G4 This ten-year-old is the eldest of two children. At home, she reacted to the abuse initially by withdrawing but over time began to express anger towards her mother. 73 With conflict between the two growing her mother expressed concern that she was siding with her father in order to deal with the split between her two loved parents. Will her stories verify this triangulation? If it is accurate then the material discussed in group which address the cycle of violence may be threatening to her model of the world. Indeed, in group she was confrontational, challenging the facilitator in the first few sessions, and generally engaged in oppositional behavior. She typically expressed anger when upset, although she might alternatively withdraw or engage in distracting behavior. Despite the challenge this presents to the group leader, coping with and finding healthy ways to express her anger is an important developmental task. Her narratives reveal that she feels mad about how she is treated by others and doubts there is much she can do about it. She also expresses the desire for avoidance and distance. Note, in Appendix G, the request she makes to erase the figure at the end of each story. The imports to these stories are; 1.Other kids may hurt you and all you can do is go off and feel mad. 2.Your brother hurts you and won't stop and you will feel mad so you will tattle on him. 3.Dad and mom fight because dad won't do something, and they hit each other. These heroes are sensitive and they are repeatedly being hurt by others' aggressions. Yet this girl is ambivalent towards having the hero express heir feelings (they were solicited by the interviewer). Further, she stops short in her description of the parents' fight and attempts to retract it; " And I made up the story." 74 The anger she is expressing on the outside against her mother appears to mirror a battle within her psyche. Bowlby (1979) described a state of emotional detachment evident in some two-year-olds who were removed from their mother's care for an extended period during infancy. Included in their later responses to separation was a strong and persistent hostile behavior and negativism towards their mother. These responses are witnessed in this girl. Her stories offer a better understanding of this oppositional stance. 2.brother 3.parents fighting 2.get him to 3.doing chores stop bugging you 2.you tattle 3.they get mad and hit each other 2.you can stop 3.parents solve some people problems by by tattling hitting each other Her life script is incomplete; You will feel mad if others are mean to you. What then is her response? She observed how others cope with conflict and discovered that tattling is one option but adults hit each other instead. In the outer world of school her stories reveal that she distances in response. These are experiments in coping and the lack of adequate closure in her stories suggests that she has not found a satisfactory response to conflict. Bowlby (1979) suggested that the emotionally detached child is in need of a secure base. Her mother needs to hold her, psychologically if not physically, amidst the storm of her protests until she feels secure enough to renew her attachment. Until then her oppositional behavior will Topic: 1 Goal: 1 Result:1 Lesson:1 .school peers .not to get hurt .you get hurt and feel mad .you can't avoid getting hurt 75 continue as a form of pseudo-independence, a need to prove her autonomy from her mother in order to deny a need for closeness. This illustrates how identification with the opposite gender abuser can occur in homes of violence. To return to Oaklander's (1978) model, she has split her masculine and feminine self, denied the feminine within her by projecting it onto her submissive mother where it can be safely rejected, and joined with her more dominant parent. Filial therapy may be an appropriate intervention. The therapist can help her explore her anger with her while modeling for the mother how to listen and support her daughter in this expression. Based upon her stories and presenting behavior, this girl may not be immediately appropriate for group participation until her needs are addressed. Cognitive distortions may appear among emotionally detached children. These stories suggest that this girl believes she is often hurt and has little recourse. She is forming a fixed gestalt, I am not loved, from her unmet need to be held. She might consequently project this rejection onto unrelated situations. This raises the question of universality. A principle of living, Cochran (1993) suggests, should not be universal but rather limited to its appropriate domain. The anger she feels towards her mother and father is being misdirected. Following the filial therapy suggested above, if her oppositional response abates as anticipated, issues of resposibility for violence can be addressed with her. 76 G5 Some children, such as this ten-year-old, effectively combine model behavior with assertive leadership skills. They present as attentive listeners, follow instructions thoroughly, and in group enthusiastically show others how to do an.activity, volunteering for new activities, and offering their own ideas. This child is similar to the previous girl, G4, in age and position within the family. She, too, has one younger brother and as the eldest child she further would be motivated to find a way to succeed and be responsible (Adler, 1930). Indeed, the similarity of their environment and circumstance supports the hypothesis that temperament plays a strong intermediary role in how children respond to trauma, but that discussion will be reserved for the following chapter. This girl is neither submissive nor rebellious, but rather demonstrates a surprising ability to grasp appropriate places to both lead and follow. This is consistent with her response to the family violence as reported by her mother. When her parents fought she would sometimes ask them to stop and sometimes withdraw. In light of her agentic behavior in group, the negative principle which is revealed in her imports is surprising: l.If you do poorly at school your mom will be mad at you, even though you are trying to do better. 2.You may be unable to do something right until your mom helps you figure how to do it. 3.(interview interrupted - unable to tell third story) 77 The hero's positive attempts lead to failure in the first story and a value of dependency is evident in the second. These stories express discouragement and low self- efficacy. Her behavior may therefore reflect over- compensation, which Adler (1930) attributed to feelings of inferiority in childhood. This girl has learned that others, her mother in particular, can be critical of her. They may, like the hero's mother, or may not, like her teacher, help her, and she fears without that support she cannot succeed. As long as she doubts her own competence without assistance her self-esteem is vulnerable. Such a principle, Cochran (1993) suggests, should not be central to a person's actions. Topic: 1.performance 2.getting up 3. - no story - at school in the morning Goal: l.to do better 2.to be on time Result:!.you fail and 2.mom has to help mom gets mad you figure out how to do things Lesson:!.you will fail 2.you need help and make others mad The life script appears; You must do well to keep others happy, but you can't succeed without their help. These are demanding introjects for a young child to bear. The unconditional positive regard of a therapist and opportunity to shed the role of responsible child through the play therapy could provide a healing experience for this girl. Further, the interview with the mother indicated that the child's projection onto her was not inaccurate. 78 Consequently, filial therapy is recommended as a transition to aid the mother by modeling a validating and supportive relationship with her child. G6 This ten-year-old, the last of three girls who are the elder of two children, has one younger brother. Like one other girl, G3, her mother was the perpetrator of violence. However, in this case, the girl was continuing to live with the mother during the period throughout which the group was meeting. Her participation in the group, as well as the mother's in a parent group, was directed by the court. Clearly, these circumstances set this girl apart from other participants in this study. In group this child distracted otherfe and generally engaged in hyperactive behavior. She had difficulty with any discussion of feelings or needs although she clearly enjoyed the contact with other group members and did not display any anger or oppositional behavior to either group facilitator. In the interview she began her first story as requested but referenced it almost immediately to her drawing of her mother in the picture of life at home. The first import below is segmented into la and lb reflecting this transition. la.If you are in a new place, you will feel shy, and have a bad time... lb....when things do not go well it is difficult to tell mom. If you lie to her out of fear she will get angry, but later forgive you. 2.You may feel unhappy because your parents don't play with you, but later they will finish their work and agree to spend time with you. 3.(unwilling to tell a story about parents fighting) 79 A child coming home from a new school may need to share her fear and loneliness with her parents, yet this girl relates a fear of her mother's wrath that may be equally distressing. Further, she experiences loneliness within her own family and then provides a fantasy-like resolution of this anxiety-provoking situation. This sequence helps to clarify her life script: Topic: l.fear of new 2.relationship 3. - no story - surroundings with parents Goal: l.to find 2.to have fun support with them Result:!.mom will get 2.they will mad but then ignore you but forgive you later change their mind and join you Lesson:!.the world/ 2.you feel lonely your mom is now, but wait scary, but wait and others will and she will join you change Her life script is an expression of escapism; The world is a scary place, but eventually it will change and you will be happy. Children can create a belief system that things will get better if the present circumstances are unacceptable. It is consistent with a lack of agency. Indeed, in this girl's story, the possibility of changing her circumstances to meet new friends at school or leave home to find others to play with, for example, are not included within the field of possible outcomes. Despite her outgoing demeanor, she appeared to be fearful of the presence of her mother and resorted to fantasy. 80 Compelled by a need to escape intolerable conditions, many adolescents who can no longer call upon childhood fantasy resort to self-destructive behaviors, including truancy, running away from home, and prostitution (Roy, 1988). Maslow (1954) suggested that physiological safety is a prerequisite to any higher order healing. It is doubtful, therefore, that group work can be effective as long as children continue to live in abusive situations. Subsequent to the interview and group participation this girl was removed from her mother's custody and placed in a foster home. G7 This nine-year-old girl, eldest of three children, was removed from a home where both parents were being abusive to her and lives now in foster care. She had coped with the violence between her parents by hiding. In group she was often upset by the behavior of others and would then withdraw. At other times, though, when she felt safe and comfortable she would be an active participant. Her stories reveal a reliance upon rules. l.If you want to do something with your friends you must check with your mom and with your dad, and your friend must do so too. And you will obey the rules. 2.You must check with grown-ups to see what the rules are in new places. You may not be allowed to bring your best friend, but you will have fun and meet new friends who will be fun to play with and who know the rules 3.(unwilling to tell a story about parents fighting) 81 The hero is concentrating upon determining what behavior is acceptable, a central principle in both stories. There is little personal causation. Is this a coping response to the abusive environment she has been raised in? Her behavior in the group provides a clue. Despite the emphasis on relationship and rules within her stories, she is not the model child one might expect. Instead, she is withdrawn. Her desire to understand what the rules appears to be motivated by fear. Topic: 1.rules 2.parents rules 3. - no story - Goal: l.to be with 2.to be with friends friends Result:1.must obey the 2.must obey the rules rules Lesson (both): you can only be with your friends if you follow the rules The two stories converge on one lesson which can be identified as a life script for this girl; You can only be with your friends if you follow the rules. Note the implicit punishment that is expressed if she fails to comply. This distinguishes fear-motivated focus on rules in children's stories from that of children who simply are more comfortable if they know what to do. This girl received harsh and inconsistent discipline. Such abusive parenting styles were cited by Jaffe, Wolfe, and Wilson (1990) as contributing to a child's negative adjustment. 82 This girl's adjustment difficulty was compounded because she had no safe parent to go to for support. In Chapter Two research was cited to suggest that self- esteem is negatively impacted among children who witness violence who have poor relations with both parents (Amato, 1986). Maslow (1954) noted that safety needs are prerequisite to the development of self-esteem. The most immediate concern for counselling, therefore, would be to re-establish her sense of safety and restore motives of communion to her life script. G8 This girl was a quiet observer. She would share with some reluctance but not take any leading role in group. Though articulate and not intimidated by others, she withdrew from others and acted disinterested. Like the previous girl, G7, she is the eldest of three children. Yet the hero in her story wanted to play, and the values to which her hero attends are to be active and expressive: 1.In school you do the things you're supposed to do, and eventually you will be finished and get to play games. 2.You would rather dance than follow the rules, but eventually there will be lots and lots of homework and you will do it because you have to. 3.You will try to ignore your parents fighting but it will just keep bugging you so eventually you must go to a neighbour. The police will come and your parents won't ever fight again. Her first story (see Appendix G) accounts a whole day at school complete and voluntarily, but flat in affect. 83 Her hero comes to life in the second story when she has the opportunity to dance. Here is something she is passionate about. Yet schoolwork inevitably intrudes and the reader experiences her loss of joy. That may provide a good account to how she experienced her life in recent years. Although she had been separated from her abusive father for 5 years, her brother is conduct disordered and violent at home. This, of course, is creating a great disruption in her life and as the eldest she may feel an obligation to be responsible. Clearly, her stories reveal that her co-operation is with at least mild protest. She did not, in fact, finish the group. Topic: 1.school work 2.home 3.parents fighting activities Goal: l.to get it 2.get to dance 3.ending it over with Result:!.you get to 2.too much 3.call the police play homework Lesson:!.do your work 2.do your work 3.get help This girl may be described as reluctantly responsible. Her script is. Painful things must be dealt with before you will feel better and have fun. Perhaps the singular most important component to therapy for this child is the opportunity to play and express herself. Cochran (1993) suggests that the therapist attend to the consequences of the hero's actions (to do her work) which in this case is not effective in attaining a desired outcome (to have time to play), poignantly displayed in the third story where her parents continue to fight despite her distracting behavior. It would be therapeutic then to help her explore means of effecting change, enhancing her sense of agency. 84 Allan (1988) has validated the use of serial storytelling. Creating a time in each session to return to the story, this child could explore her self-efficacy projected onto the hero, giving her self-healing archetype an opportunity to respond. Alternatively, Cochran (1993) suggests a sequence of activities to stimulate the client to experiment with the role of the protagonist and rehearse new scripts through role play. Given this girl's disposition towards physical activity, this latter option may be temperamentally well-suited. G9 Like the previous two cases (G7,G8) this seven-year- old girl is the eldest of three siblings. She presented to the counsellor at the intake and initially in group as a quiet child, testing boundaries in a tentative manner, observing others, and generally attempting to confirm the safety of the group. Her stories reveal a considerable distrust of others: l.The prettier you look the more jealous other kids will be and they won't want to play with you 2.Bigger fish chase smaller fish. If you fall in you are in danger. The best thing to do is lay still and the other bigger creatures won't see you. 3.(unwilling to tell a story about parents fighting) This girl has learned that the world is not a safe place. It is difficult to know with certainty how universal 85 this principle is. Note, however, that as she began to tell her second story about a girl at home, she removed the girl from home ("...and she went to the ocean") and talked about danger witnessed ("...and she saw a shark"), offering only a hint of her home life (see Appendix G). There does not appear to be safety in her environment. The bigger fish in her story may symbolize her abusive father. Topic: 1.peers 2.predators 3. - no story - Goal: 1.popularity 2.to be safe Result:1.others envy you 2.you avoid and will exclude being seen you Lesson:1.don't look pretty 2.lay low Her behavior in group combined with a reluctance to share anything about her home and declination to tell a story about domestic violence suggest a strong mandate of secrecy and ever-present threat to safety. This is confirmed in the life script; It's not safe to draw anyone's attention to you. Lerner (1993) describes the impact of secrets in families, how children can complete the missing information to infer a danger to themselves, and the importance of aiding the child in bringing all events that are traumatic to light. Maslow (1954) proposed that self-efficacy and a sense of belonging cannot develop until safety needs are met. Play therapy, of course, can provide an appropriate medium and also create the safe container required. Additionally, the role of nurturance can be emphasized to the mother within the parents' group with activities and role play. 86 GIO This is the last of ten girls included in the study. She is eight-years-old and the youngest of five, although her siblings are all in their late teens or twenties. Consequently, she may perceive of her role within the family as both the youngest child, or baby of the family, as well as the only child (Adler, 1930). She was withdrawn at the first group, following rules while remaining quiet. Her tentativeness was an indicator of low self-esteem, confirmed by her stories which revealed more precisely a fear of being rejected: 1.Other kids will tease you until you get someone to stop them. 2a.Before you can play you have to have your chores done. But by then it may be too late. 2b.You may feel angry because others don't call you back. If you like someone and you want to be friends they will ignore you. A parent can help to enforce the rules, though, so that you know what to expect. Then your new friend will answer your calls. 3.(unwilling to telling a story about parents fighting) She expresses a value for friendship in these stories, yet her heroes lacks a social skills. Both peers and circumstance resist them. Note that this girl began to tell a story about a child at home (2a) when asked to tell the story about a child at school. Her preference, perhaps, would be to attribute her lack of playtime to the need to do chores at home. Returning to the school scene, though, she did explore the topic of rejection by peers. This girl is expressing a need for others to help her make friendship. 87 It has been six years since her parents separated and her contact with her abusive father is rare. Her mother brought her to participate in the group due to a concern over her growing isolation. While such developmental issues are not unique to children who witness domestic abuse, research cited in Chapter Two reported a significant impairment to the esteem of girls who witnessed such acts (Spaccarelli, Sandler, & Roosa, 1994) . The stories, when reduced to their skeleton, reveal that this girl's attachments are threatened: Topic: 1.peers 2a.play time 2b.peers Goal: 1.being accepted 2a.getting to 2b.being accepted play Result:1.someone stops 2a.too late 2b.parent enforces them from rules and your teasing friend calls you back Lesson:!.get someone 2a.you miss 2b.get parents to to protect you out explain the rules Maslow (1954) identified love and belonging needs that must be met before the child can develop self-efficacy. This girl is expressing an anxiety that others will ignore her, and appears to believe or at least fantasize that adult intervention will make things better. Her script. You can't make friends unless you get help, is that of an archetypal lost child. Through expressive play therapy she could explore and work through difficulties with her peer relationships (Allan, 1988). 88 This concludes the analysis of stories told by the girls in this study. The reader's attention is directed now to the fifteen boys among whom many permutations of family constellation are found. The first two have no siblings (Bl and B2). The next is eldest of two (B3), followed by two the eldest of three (B4 and B5), and one the eldest of four {B6). Two are youngest of two (B7/B8), one youngest of three (B9), although that child is separated from his nearest older sibling by nearly twenty years, and one child is youngest of four (BIO). One child (Bll) is middle among thirteen siblings. The siommary concludes, finally, with two pairs of brothers (B12/B13 and B14/B15). Bl This seven-year-old is a ward of the court. When he arrived at the CWWA program he had been separated from his family for less than a year. Both of this parents abused drugs and alcohol and fighting between them was frequent and intense. He now is rarely in contact with them. In group, the counsellor noted, this boy was initially hyperactive and refused to talk about anything emotional. After several weeks passed, however, he began to settle in to listen while others shared, although his energy level remained high. l.If you fail when trying something you will feel angry, though if you try again you will get it right and feel happy. 2.Sometimes things happen that are hard to explain, and can be scary, though you may find that it was just someone playing a trick on you. 3.(unwilling to tell a story about parents fighting) 89 Both home and school stories display this child's confidence and resiliency. "Don't give up," the hero seems to say. This is a positive principle of living, stating that hard work is rewarded with a favourable outcome. This exhibits the origins of positive agentic orientation which values achievement and mastery of goals. This child's preference to be active, thus, enables him to pursue his goals with tenacity. His activity level dropped to a normal range after the group process progressed into the working stage. This indicates that he had established a sense of safety in the group and that his outward distracting behavior may have initially served as an important coping response to stress and uncertainty (Amunds'on, Borgen, Westwood, & Pollard, 1989) . Topic: 1.shooting hoops 2.games mother 3. - no story - plays with you Goal: l.to get it in 2.to figure it out the net Result:!.you succeed 2.you discover and feel happy the truth and feel happy Lesson:!.if at first you 2.even if you're don't succeed, scared, keep looking keep trying and you will figure and eventually things out you will His life script. Although you may be scared or angry, keep going - you will succeed and feel happy, is resilient. Accordingly, this child exhibits considerable optimism in his play. Yet the circumstances of his family suggest that this child was not getting basic physiological needs met and only now beginning to experience a sense of safety. 90 Further, he denies the possibility of negative outcomes in story and play indicating a reliance upon magical thinking common among preschoolers. Decalage, or regression in cognitive development, may be induced by distress. He is not making a developmental progression shift from concrete into formal operational thought capable of thinking in abstract terms to understand and cope with life's disappointments (Piaget, 1952). This developmental impact is an important theme in the discussion of coping response of children who witness violence. The counsellor who can recognize this is able to assist the client in making an appropriate developmental transition. With this boy, for example, art and play can be utilized and a safe environment, such as the CWWA group, can be created to explore the feelings which might accompany unpleasant experiences. B2 In contrast to the previous case (Bl) this nine-year- old, who is also an only child, exhibits a prolonged mourning of loss and pessimism. While he has ongoing contact, his father expresses reluctance to take him into his home, preferring instead to spend time with his new girlfriend. When the two do spend weekends together, his father often leaves him alone during the evening. When the counsellors initially met with him, this boy was very expressive of his feelings. He demonstrated a strong desire for play suggesting a need for contact and, perhaps, a replacement of his lost father. The imports of his stories validate that impression: 91 l.A boy wants to be with his dad so he will go find him. 2.A boy misses his dad if he's not living at home but there's nothing he can do. 3.Dad will hit mom then run away from the home, and the boy will be sad. Within these imports, this boy's need for contact with his father appear very explicit. This theme appears universally, dominating all three situations. Moreover, these narratives reveal a negative principle of living; the positive efforts of searching result in a negative outcome of loss. Such pessimistic expectations are evident in the lessons described below: Topic: 1.returning home 2.boy playing 3.parents fighting Goal: 1.to find his 2.to see his 3.keep them father father together Result:!.he keeps 2.feels sad, 3.dad leaves, boy looking keeps playing feels sad Lesson:1.you will look 2.there's 3.dad will hit mom and look but nothing to do and leave you won't find dad but feel sad both Unmet needs are projected onto his life script. Loved ones will leave you and you can't do anything but feel sad. Oaklander (1978) provides many accounts of how unmet needs form incomplete gestalten that can dominate children's orientation and deter their growth in other areas. Maslow (1954) suggested that love and belonging needs precede the development of self-esteem. Accordingly, these narratives display low agency, evidenced by the lack of personal causation noted above, in addition to low communion. 92 While the Children Who Witness Abuse group will help this child understand what has happened, individual counselling may also be recommended. The loss of a parent experienced as rejection is having a deflating effect upon this child's self esteem and the counsellor can serve the role of a transitional figure, providing him with unconditional regard while activating the healing potential of the Self, an archetypal god-image in each person which strives to fulfill that person's potential (Allan, 1988). Narrative or play therapy will provide him with an opportunity to explore his attachment needs, projecting them onto characters and symbols where the fear of abandonment can be safely explored. B3 This is a quiet yet self-determined nine-year-old. In group he quickly demonstrated a tendency to lead with confidence. He followed the rules well, but was not easily swayed by peer pressure, and others began to reference their behavior from him. He is the eldest of two children. His stories reveal that he has learned not to count on parents or other adults and demonstrates a strong sense of agency: 1.Grown-ups won't stop others from hurting you, so you will tell them to stop yourself, and they will. 2.Parents won't buy you things you want and that makes you feel sad, so you will have to save up yourself to buy them. 3.(unwilling to tell a story about parents fighting) 93 In the second story, faced with an unmet need, this child resolves the dilemma in an agentic manner: "Then he saved up money, and he got one himself." He expresses confidence in the outcome but, unlike the magical thinking of a younger child, such as that expressed by Bl, this optimism appears to be grounded in an analysis of the problem and the arrival at a realistic solution which he can effect. His recognition of a failure of others to respond to his needs indicate that he is aware of limitations. Topic: 1.being pestered 2.ice cream 3. - no story - by peers Goal: l.to stop them 2.to get some Result: l.you speak up, 2.you buy it they stop yourself Lesson: l.if grown-ups 2.you can get don't help,take things for matters into yourself when your own hands parent's don't The life script. You can't count on others for help, do what you need to for yourself, is suggested by these two lessons. If he continued to narrate, it is interesting to speculate, would this boy identify any circumstances in which he might anticipate that an adult would respond to his needs? Because his separation from his father was recent, just a few months previous, the counsellor should determine whether or not the mother needs support in parenting. Jaffe, Wolfe, and Wilson (1990) suggest that the experience of spousal assault impedes the mother's capacity to recognize and respond to her children's needs. This is congruent with Maslow's (1954) assertion that physiological and safety needs must be met before a person can attend to their own need to express love and nurturance to another. 94 The parent group will provide an important forum for this mother to explore such issues. Further, as the eldest child, this boy may have been tacitly encouraged to accept more responsibility within the family than is appropriate for his age. The children's group will help this boy learn that children and adults have different roles. B4 This boy, ten-years-old and the eldest of three children, was engaged in frequent distracting behavior during the group. He would joke and demonstrate immature behavior. In addition to witnessing his mother being beated, he was traumatized additionally through sexual abuse perpetrated by another older boy. Children who have been sexually abused often engage in reactive behavior, exhibiting a confusion regarding the recognition of boundaries (Gil & Johnson, 1993). By attending to his presenting behavior and the knowledge of this sexual abuse, the stories take new significance. The need is witnessed to define boundaries with peers, moving figuratively through conflict, playing more games, making more friends, and getting better and better at basketball. There does not appear to be a container or limits to the consequences of his action. l.You may be in trouble but eventually your punishment ends and you start to make friends and find something that you can get real good at. 2.You get into conflict trying to make friends but eventually settle it and you play together and make more friends who also play with you. 3.When mom and dad fight you will feel scared. You can go to a friend for help and the cops will settle things and send them to counselling so you will be a family again. 95 He is not discouraged by conflict. Like the first boy interviewed, Bl, this child's expectation that things will get better is unflappable, although his behavior in group does not reflect such confidence. Rather, he appears uncertain how to act in group. What is lacking from his narrative is a method of effecting positive change. The boy at school simply starts getting friends, with no consideration as to how that will occur. Similarly, the boys in the second story simply settle their argument with no elaboration. His explanation of how the family conflict will be resolved offers a role, albeit limited, for the hero. The ability to seek and receive help from others is indicative of a sense of communion in childhood. In this case, however, it is associated with a lack of agency. By contrast, recall that the agentic hero in the third story provided by the eleven-year-old girl (G2) began to do well in school to ensure that her parents reconciliation would endure. Topic: 1 Goal: Result:1 Lesson:1 .figuring out how to have fun at school .getting out of trouble .got together with friends and learned how to play basketball .make friends and stay out of trouble 2.getting together with friends 2.to play 2.settled argument and continued playing 2.get along and you will have fun 3.parents fighting 3.to stop them 3.police intervened and they went for counselling 3.get help and you're parents won't split up 96 This script. Problems eventually go away and things get settled, provides insight into this boy's distracting behavior. In the CWWA group the issue of family conflict is raised for discussion. He may experience discomfort and desire to wish it away, similar to the distracting response he adopted within his family as a means of stopping the conflict or diverting attention from it. His behavior is indicative of the Dionysian tendency or sensation-type Jung (1923) used to describe the personality who prefers to free instinct and break loose the dynamis, or libido in its instinctive form. Such a child may be characterized as having a need to act, to experience, without an inclination to plan their actions with a view to the overall consequences. This boy will likely benefit considerably from a discussion of conflict resolution skills either within the group format or in individual counselling. B5 When this twelve-year-old boy met with the counsellor he appeared withdrawn. Discussing problems at school revealed that he was fearful and sees the world as unsafe. For instance, he was concerned about avoiding getting into fights with bigger boys at school. In group he was quiet and reluctant to speak. He avoided eye contact. Although this behavior is also appropriate to his First Nations culture, he exhibited anxiety at the suggestion of certain activities like writing while eager to join in those less challenging like sandplay. Such responses and behavioral cues were indicative of low self-esteem. The custodial parent did not report knowledge of any learning disability. 97 He is the eldest of.three children who were all removed to foster care following physical abuse they experienced by their parents. He witnessed his mother beaten badly by his father and expressed his fear for her safety explicitly in his stories: l.When you're at school you will have a good time playing with friends and you will be happy. 2.At home you will feel sad and worry about your mom ^cause your mom and dad fight. 3.(third story not required because of content of second story) It is worth noting that few of the children in this study directly express fear or anxiety about their mother's safety, as this child has. He is also the only child that did not need to tell a third story because the second, without prompting, included a description of his parents fighting. This boy is aware of and able to express his fear and consequently provides the interviewer with a clear picture of his needs. Topic: l.play with 2.concern for 3. - no story - friends his mother Goal: l.to feel good 2.her safety Result: l.you play and 2.parents fight, are happy you feel sad and worry Lesson: l.at school the 2.your parents fight world is fun and there is nothing you can do but worry 98 His script can be summarized; You will feel happy until you come home and then there is nothing to do but worry for your mother. High in affect and low in agency, this child's motives are similar to another boy discussed above (B2) who was missed his father. In this instance, however, this boy is focusing upon the feelings of another. He is concerned about his mother's safety and experiences the threat to her vicariously. His father and mother are still in relationship, though attempting to heal their abusive pattern, and his need is to calm his fear within this cycle. The therapist's ability to align with the child in this circumstance, accurately identify and reflect the child's emotional response, and remain present with the child to face the fear together can empower the child to resolve the impasse (Greenberg, Rice, & Elliott, 1993). In this case, that may lead to a new affirmation of safety or view of himself and his family as able to protect themselves. The group is also educational, helping children create their own safety plan and recognize abuse, to empower them to re-establish appropriate boundaries to protect their own needs. B6 This eleven-year-old is the eldest of four children who have been separated from their father for four years with no ongoing contact. He was sexually abused by his father and both parents at one point were abusing drugs. This boy was able to express his feelings in group but was insecure, not assertive, in relating to his other group members. 99 As in the case of the seven-year-old (B4) discussed earlier, children who have been sexually abused may have difficulty asserting and respecting boundaries unless they can heal the wounds of their own violation. Interestingly, there is a parallel to their narrative. Both boys describe heroes who are in trouble and appear to be trying to make sense of the negative consequences, experienced as punishment for their actions. l.If you do something bad, you will get punished and feel awful. 2.Pets can die and you will feel really sad. 3.Parents argue and you feel awful because you know that dad didn't do anything wrong and maybe it's your fault. But the fighting will stop and then you will have a happy life again. He earnestly desires greater harmony in his relationships if he could simply atone for what he has done wrong. Perhaps one legacy of sexual abuse is an inability to grasp the moral inconsistency of the abuser's actions. This may disrupt the victim's own moral development. All three stories demonstrate an internalization of profound shame. Note the severity of the consequences; banishment from school for a week for chewing gum, the death of a beloved pet, and the potential break-up of family. In a survey of men recovering from incest and other sexual abuse. Lew (1988) reported a high prevalence of shame within their retrospective accounts, in addition to anxiety over trust, intimacy, and isolation. 100 This child's stories appear to be based upon actual events. That does not diminish their value but rather enhances them. He is sharing his real interpretations of the world. Topic: l.bad behavior 2.loss of a pet 3.parents fighting Goal: 1.avoid 2.to grieve 3.stopping them punishment Result:1.suspended 2.you feel 3.they stop on from school awful their own and and you feel you feel happy ,awful Lesson:!.you are bad 2.you can't 3.until parents avoid feeling stop fighting awful you will feel awful These lessons confirm a negative script; You are responsible for bad things that happen and you will feel awful. This highlights a very dangerous manner in which the effect upon a child of sexual abuse and witnessing abuse are compounded. Lew (1988) suggests that boys may be particularly vulnerable to internalizing shame as a consequence of a cultural message that men are not supposed to be victims. A boy who has been sexually abused, therefore, may develop a shame-based self image. When this same child witnesses parents fighting, subsequently, he may be more inclined to feel responsible. Included in the CWWA group sessions are discussions about boundaries and who is responsible for abuse. Both topics, therefore, will be very important in helping this boy heal from the effects of witnessing his mother being battered and having his trust and physical self violated by his father. Further, sandtray is an effective medium for 101 children to express their pain and effect healing from abuses done to them, releasing blocked psychic energy and activating the child's self-healing potential (Allan & Berry, 1993), and can be recommended here. B7 This is a nine-year-old boy who is the younger of two children. His eldest sister is very responsible, whereas he is attention-seeking and distracting both at home and in group. His CWWA counsellor described him as frequently in need of being "front and centre." This behavior may be an extroverted expression of inferiority, a motive Adler (1930) deemed to be powerful among the younger sibling to a first-born who accepts the family role of duty and responsibility. This boy, for instance, may have adopted distracting behavior as a displacement of his need to act and be recognized while feeling discouraged by self- comparison to his responsible older sister. In group or other new circumstances, this insecurity may be heightened. The stories reveal motives which underlie this coping behavior: l.If you don't hear what teachers tell you to do, ask them to repeat it and you'll get a good grade. 2.Your mother will keep reminding you what to do but you won't pay attention until you are ready to. 3.Mom will complain about what dad does, until dad pushes her down and leaves. Mom will regret that she told him to leave, and tells him she forgives him and he comes back, "and they live happily ever after." 102 Imports can reveal how a child applies behavioral learning to his or her parents' interpersonal pattern of relationship. Such a process accounts for the transmission of abusive relationship patterns between generations, described by the Cycle-of-Violence Hypothesis (Jaffe, Wolfe, & Wilson, 1990). The first import suggests that a boy can ask for help, which could certainly be a healthy response to a need for information. Yet the passive resistance of the hero in the second story reveals that the failure of the boy at school to hear his teacher may have been intentional. To better understand this motive, recall that Adler predicted the younger sibling to a responsible first-born bears a negative or inferior self-image by comparison. Lacking confidence or agency, that child seeks alternatives to attain success. This boy's hero chooses a passive stance, giving him power over adults who he anticipates will attempt to direct him. The desired outcome is revealed in the third story; the hero's goal is to regain control and, in this case, get the antagonist to apologize. The scenario in which this occurs, two parents fighting, suggests that this style of passivity was learned from watching how his father relates to his mother. It is not yet clear whether or not this child hopes that others will need to apologize, similiar to the mother in the third story making the first step towards reparation, or simply assist the hero, as the teacher in the first appears to do. Again, clarity is found examining the lessons learned in each story: 103 Topic: 1.school work Goal: l.get it done Result:1.you do well Lesson:!.ask for help 2.house work 2.get it done/ stop mom's complaining 2.do it when you're ready 2.don't pay attention 3.parents fighting 3.stop mom's complaining 3.mom feels bad, dad comes back 3.if someone nags you, leave until they say sorry The second story confirms that the boy identifies with his father. Both the boy in story two and the father in story three ignore the mother. A boy can observe his father's passive-aggressive behavior, therefore, and learn a congruent life script; If you ignore others eventually they will complain and then they will have to apologize to you. This is one way in which a younger child can deal with an inferiority complex. It is important to recognize that the child's healing archetype is already at work. Consider the transformation between the stories. First, his father's negative behavior is rewarded by a positive outcome, being apologized to. In the second, the boy-hero is similarly rewarded, being able to stay up all night watching TV. By the third story, however, representing his outer, social world of school, he has converted passivity to support seeking, a more positive and constructive means of relating to peers and superiors. The principle of living becomes positive; good behavior leads to good outcome. As he cognitively progresses to formal operational thought (Piaget, 1952) he has learned that passivity outside the home does not lead to success and is adjusting his behavior accordingly. Driven by a motive of superiority (Adler, 1930) or agency (Cochran, 1993) his hero at school in story one seeks help. 104 In this way, stories that project the child's view of relationship at home and at school offer a unique and fascinating picture of the child's cognitive development and guide the facilitator's interventions. The group discussion of boundaries, conflict resolution, and the use of I-statements to express needs, will be valuable lessons for this child. They will help him to consider alternatives to the passive behavior modeled by his father. It is equally important for the counsellor to acknowledge the positive behaviors he has already adopted, including seeking assistance as his hero has done in the first story, and thus validate his own path to healing. B8 Like the previous child (B7), this ten-year-old boy is the younger of two siblings. His response to stress, however, is more emotional and less extroverted. He presented a negative affect to the counsellor, angry and anxious, and wanted to destroy things in the play therapy room. The heroes in his stories are fearful and attempt in each case to avoid something dangerous: l.You may find that you're trapped but you can duck away and escape. 2.If you are being chased, run until you get to a safe place where someone will scare away the kids chasing you. 3.Your parents fight and you feel scared so you will run away and hide until you feel better. 105 The sequence reveals what he has learned about conflict. It is better to run and hide until you can be saved. Although low in agency, lacking the internal ability to fight off his aggressor, his narrative suggests that he expects to find support if he looks for it. This furtive narrative plot is reminiscent of his mother's escape to a transition house four years earlier. His older brother had claimed the role of family hero, proclaiming his defiance of his father. Both a comparison of his own role within the family and their frightening escape to a strange place of refuge, then, contributed to this younger brother's diminutive stance. What is the significance of his angry and destructive behavior in group, in contrast to the fearful response of his heroes? This change in behavior from timidity to aggression prompted his mother to seek counselling for him. He appears to be extroverting the anxiety and anger he had previously internalized and may be experimenting with his responses to reclaim a sense of agency, previously disowned to his older brother. Yet this adjustment is not evident in the imports to his stories, which repeatedly direct the hero to hide: Topic: 1.being chased 2.being chased 3.parents fighting 2.to escape 2.someone will help 2.get to a safe place Goal: l.to escape Result:!.get away Lesson:1.duck away 3.to feel better 3.you feel better 3.hide The goal in the third story is to feel better, even if the parents' fight cannot be avoided. Escape is not necessarily the goal, therefore, as much as abating 106 negative feelings. His script may be. Do whatever you need to in order to feel better and avoid pain. This demonstrates another process of behavioral learning. Despite this boy's anxiety around violence and aggression, the goal of reducing negative feelings has a primacy which paradoxically induces that very behavior. He may simply lack the knowledge of alternative means of anxiety reduction. Consequently, it could be helpful to begin his group with a stress-reduction visualization. Further, members must have an explicit understanding of how to deal with anxiety which comes up in the course of the group while discussing emotional-laden topics. The child's behavior, in this instance, is not sufficient evidence of what his needs are. A storytelling interview at the outset will provide a valuable resource should such oppositional behavior arise, guiding the facilitator to an appropriate response. B9 Adler (1930) suggested that the youngest child can reorient his or her role within the family when elder siblings move away from home. A child may initially strive for superiority in one manner, then change his perspective of how to respond when the family environment is altered. Further, the motives may change. The child will seek the satisfaction of higher-order needs, such as love and belonging or agency and esteem, only once certain primary needs, such as safety, are met (Maslow, 1954). If personal well-being is threatened at the time family separation occurs, as in most cases of domestic abuse, changes in a 107 child's behavior then may reflect her or his regression to more basic needs. These constructs help describe the motives of this seven-year-old boy. He has two older brothers, both in their twenties, and the family separated from their abusive father four years previously. The older siblings now live separately and one brother is alcoholic. This boy did not respond to his new status as an only child by taking responsibility. Rather, he appeared to regress into a relationship more dependent upon his mother. In group, he was often distracting others and seeking attention. His stories reveal fantasy-like themes of healing and revenge: l.You can get hurt but you'll come back to school all healed up. 2.You can have a secret hide-out in a fancy homes where you will be able to hide and shoot bullets at others. 3.(unwilling to tell a story about parents fighting) These stories are highly suggestive. Considering them in sequence, as Arnold (1962) suggests, enables one to see the true significance. Home is a place where you can go when you are hurt. This boy is engaging in magical thinking appropriate to a younger age, similar to but more aggressive than the first boy interviewed (Bl). This is also a story of revenge, the psyche enacting a need for retribution through fantasy. You get hurt, you heal up, and you get back by shooting. This sequence is illuminated by the following analysis: 108 Topic: 1.injury 2.other boys 3. - no story Goal: 1."getting back"2."getting back" to school at others Result: l.to heal 2.fire back Lesson: l.if you get 2.you can hide hurt you will and shoot get better at others His life script is expressed by joining the lessons; If you get hurt you will heal and you can shoot back from a secret place. How can this be of help to the therapist, noting his dependent nature at home and his distracting behavior in group? His needs have regressed to the primacy of safety (Maslow, 1954), having witnessed that assault of his mother and the adjustment difficulties of one brother. In this context, he may perceive his brothers' moves away from home as a further threat and feel increasingly vulnerable. His need to engage in distracting behavior when separated from his mother can be likened to insecure- disoriented attachment in infancy (Main & Solomon, 1991). Such children in infancy demonstrate behavior patterns which appear confused and contradictory. Until this boy's safety concerns are met, cognitive operations at a higher level are not possible. Group activities addressing an understanding of conflict resolution, for example, are premature. First, individual counselling is recommended including, perhaps, filial therapy to facilitate the mother's provision of a safe container for the child's fears (Landreth, 1991). 109 BIO This nine-year-old boy presented himself to the counsellor in a calm, intelligent and serious manner. From the outset of group, others appeared to reference their participation according to his behavior. His leadership role could be attributed to the respect other members have for his judgment. Indeed, his stories revealed that he is conscious of the consequences of negative behavior. That seemed to appeal to other members of the group who were trying to learn the rules. l.Mean kids at school will laugh at you if you get hurt, so you hit them and they will apologize. 2.Little brothers can be very annoying but you won't hit them because someone else may be watching you. 3.Parents fight over who will do things until dad will get so mad he hurts mom, and they will both get hurt so they will never fight again. The hero's incentive not to physically hurt the little brother in the second story is a fear of reprimand. Yet these imports also demonstrate a desire to bring an end to uncomfortable experiences. In his family, where he is the youngest of four children, he attempted to stop his father from hitting his mother by speaking out and telling him to stop. Implicit within this world view presented by his stories is a perception that power over others provides the hero with control. Force can be used to change the behavior of smaller or younger people, provided bigger people aren't watching. The first story could be described as agentic but it is based upon the negative principle of 110 living found in the third story. Negative hurtful behavior leads to a positive outcome. Topic: 1.school peers 2.little 3.parents fighting brothers Goal: l.stop the 2.stop the 3.stop mom from annoying pestering bothering dad Result:1.hit them and 2.don't hit 3.dad hits mom and they stop so you don't they stop get punished fighting Lesson:1.hit kids who 2.don't get 3.husbands who hit bug you caught wives don't get caught From the first two lessons, the hero in the third story can be recognized as the father. His life script may read; People who have more power can get others to stop bugging them by hitting them. This interpretation would explain to this boy why his father failed to listen to his pleas and continued the aggression towards his mother. The immediate power that his father gained through his violent behavior may have eclipsed the boy's recognition of any subsequent consequences, including the police intervention and family separation. Power and control are recorded in a child's procedural or stimulus-response schema, which is present from early childhood, whereas the sequential memory necessary to connect the separation and police intervention to the father's violent action develops only by school age (Crittenden,1992). Procedural memory, further, is affect-based, and may be dominant in a child's interpretation of an emotionally threatening situation such as this. Ill In clinical experience this researcher has observed boys who have witnessed domestic violence work through this moral dilemma in play therapy. Through sandplay they initially re-enact battles in which the aggressor goes unpunished. Then with time and without being directed they will find resolution. Some, for example, create an uprising by one or more of the victims. Others assert rules into the sandtray and created jails to contain the abuser. In group, they can be assisted in this psychic healing by learning of the role of law and community and identifying abuse as an unhealthy means of getting needs met. A discussion of boundaries can be helpful. This analysis offers insight into the "responsible" behavior of some children. It does not always derive from a desire to lead, or empathy towards others as much as a desire to avoid punishment. For children who need to learn the rules to feel secure, this may be an interpretation learned from an environment where abuse occurs. If the positive potential, a genuine desire to attain harmony, is recognized this child can be supported by teaching him conflict resolution skills that will empower him to deal with peers who tease and brothers who pester without needing to resort to violence and aggression. In doing so, the therapist adds to the child's coping repertoire and enhances his sense of agency and self-esteem. Bll This ten-year-old was reported to be quiet and careful in selecting friends, preferring to keep to himself and was fearful meeting with the counsellor. These withdrawn behaviors suggest that safety was of the utmost importance 112 to him. One characteristic that distinguishes among the other children in this study is family size. He was middle among thirteen siblings. Despite the background of such a large family, the protagonists in his stories seek a means to be less visible: 1.Teachers get mad at you and other kids make fun of you if you're different, even though you can't help it, and you keep trying to change until you look like everyone else so that they will like you. 2.Parents may get mad at you for what your pet does, even though you're doing your best to stop it, so you find a way to solve the problem so that your parents don't get mad any more. 3.Parents will not stop fighting until you figure out things to do which will stop them. Then they will not fight so much and you and your mother will feel happy. These heroes are visible and vulnerable to criticism. They express a desire to appease others and avoid being the target of the antagonist's anger. This motive becomes more understandable learning that he has been physically and emotionally abused by his alcoholic father. The family had moved in and out of transition shelters on several occasions before finally separating from the father three years prior. Topic: 1.fitting in at 2.raising a pet 3.parents fighting school Goal: 1.don't stand 2.keep your 3.stop them from out parents happy fighting Result:!.you find a way2.you find a way3.you find a way to change to stop the pet to stop them from doing from fighting anything wrong Lesson:1.don't look 2.solve the 3.figure out how different problem to stop them 113 This boy's script is straightforward: Find a way to make others happy so they won't be angry with you. Whereas some "model" children are simply trying to learn the rules for the sake of understanding the world better, this boy appears to be doing so out of fear. His life principle lacks efficacy to change the judgments of others and appears universally oriented, evident in his relationship with teachers, peers, and parents. Jaffe, Wolfe, and Wilson (1990) cite the egocentric perspective of the younger child, up to age eight, to interpret violence in relation to the self and take responsibility whereas older children have a broader understanding of the context and can attribute parental anger to sources other than themselves. Here, however, aggression was directed upon the child himself, fueling his sense of responsibility and impeding his normal cognitive development from progressing in this manner. One goal of the CWWA group is to help children understand that violence is a problem that their parent has and the children are never responsible for it. With children such as this who have received abuse directly in addition to witnessing it, that intervention can play an important role in their healing. It will also be helpful for this child to participate in the discussion and activities which help children identify their own boundaries and feelings that arise when they are not respected. 114 B12 This is an active, sports-oriented eight-year-old boy who frequently puts other children down verbally and occasionally gets into fights at school. In the interview, when asked to tell a story about two parents fighting, he declined and told another story instead about a boy at school who gets into fights (lb). This insertion of a child at school in place of a parent fighting suggests that his fighting behavior at school may be motivated by an identification with his father at home. la.You work at your desk and do your work until it is finished. 2.You play a game to win. 3.(unwilling to tell a story about parents fighting) lb.The person who gets the most pink slips for fighting is bad. This boy may be striving for agency (McAdams, 1993) or superiority (Adler, 1930) and has learned to value having power over others from witnessing the abuse of his mother. His first two stories lack an adequacy of the means, or explicit description of how the hero will attain his goals, characteristic of children lacking in agency (Cochran, 1993). Both narratives jump from the beginning, a boy working at his desk and a boy playing a video game, to the end, he finishes his work and beats the game, respectfully, with no discussion of the challenges to be overcome or steps to follow. 115 The boy may have learned to be the best at being bad. Fighting, it seems, is something he knows how to do. It could be insightful to explore in individual counselling what attribution he gives to "winning" at having the most pink slips to determine how he feels about the consequence. He may have difficulty distinguishing between right and wrong. His father is alcoholic and appears not to have imparted consistent moral lessons upon his children. This boy, the younger of two sons, is attempting to define for himself a role or place for himself within the family, as Adler (1930) suggested, but lacks the benefit of clear direction. His narrative reveals a desire to be accomplished. Topic: la.school work 2.games lb.fighting Goal: la.get it done 2.to win lb.to be bad Result:la.you succeed 2.you succeed lb.you succeed Lesson:la.do your work 2.play the lb.get the most game to win pink slips Despite the negative role model of his father, this boy maintains a positive outlook, expressed by the life script: To succeed you must persevere. He would like to be a leader, but lacks the knowledge of skills required and is discouraged. Assistance can be directed both in the children's group, by discussing skills of conflict resolution and engaging in self-esteem building activities, and in the parents' group, validating the role of the mother in fostering her child's sense of agency by appropriate nurturance and structure, including decision making and responsibility (Clarke & Dawson, 1989) . 116 B13 This boy is the eleven-year-old older brother to the previous child (B12). Unlike his younger sibling, this boy is confident in his leadership skills. The eldest sibling, Adler (1930) suggested, learns to be responsible for the younger ones. This boy immediately began to demonstrate such responsibility taking within the group. His inter- actional style was to lead others by helping them when they needed assistance. He supported the underdog, attending to the needs of those most challenged. The facilitator also noted, however, that he sought help when he needed it. Perhaps his stories will help generate a hypothesis to explain this positive sense of communion. Like his younger brother (B12) this boy expresses a confidence that challenges can be met through perseverance. His stories differ, however, in their adequacy of means. They include detail of how the hero effects change, consistent with a highly agentic child (Cochran, 1993). l.You have to get up early to get to school but may find that you're locked out anyhow and then you must keep trying to get in. If nobody helps you, you will be at a loss. 2.If you are being chased, and you can't get help, don't give up. Keep running until you find someone who will help you. 3.If you are too small to stop your parents from fighting, call the police and they will arrest dad. The first story the child intends as a joke. The hero mistakes the day of the week and waits needlessly outside the school on a Saturday. That does not invalidate the story's value as an assessment technique of life script. 117 Rather, his choice of this story and the embellishments he adds reflect his own projection onto the situation which suffice for identifying his values and motives. Further, the second story suggests that the lesson learned in the first was significant. Help is available, though not always immediately, and this trust enables the hero to keep looking for it when he is at a loss on his own. Cochran (1993) notes that some principles are central and others peripheral. It would seem that the belief in communion, that help is available, is an important need that must be superordinate. Also, his recognition that he cannot handle all situations seems realistic. Thus, this boy demonstrates healthy principles to live by. Topic: 1.going to school 2.bullies 3.parents fighting Goal: 1.finding a way in 2.to escape 3.stop them Result:1.learns that he 2.got help 3.police arrest made a mistake dad Lesson:1.get advice from 2.keep 3.get help others looking for help All the narratives point to the script; When you are in trouble, you will be able to find help if you look hard enough. Accordingly, he is supportive of others in group as well as being able to seek assistance himself. This boy can empathize with the underdog. He may have gained the ability to stand up to difficult circumstances from his family experience. He was four-years-old when his mother left his father taking him and his brother to safety. The shadowy figure threatening his safety in the second story may be the projection of his dangerous alcoholic father residing still in his subconscious. He wants to "pick up rocks and start 118 throwing them at him." This story offers a clue to the appropriate intervention. Within group or individual session, this boy needs the opportunity to express his anger towards his father and all figures who threaten his safety. He demonstrates by supporting others in group how he is beginning to internalize the safety he has discovered within his extended family and community. Yet he still is the child seeking direction and fleeing predators. While his knowledge about setting boundaries and having safety plans is maturing, this boy can be supported by validating those emotions which accompany the experience of being threatened. Utilizing a Gestalt approach, the counsellor could help him to integrate the disowned villain within his psyche by using an expressive medium such as storytelling to project these aspects of his ego through (Douglas, 1995) . Once the polarity is established between this villain and his accepted self, the counsellor supports the child in giving voice to his weaker self until it can stand up to the shadow and be heard (Oaklander, 1978) . At that point the psychic split begins to soften and integration can occur (Greenberg, Rice, & Elliott, 1993). The last two boys interviewed were brothers also, the second- (B14) and third-born (B15) in a family of four sons. Their alcoholic father was abusive towards the children as well as their mother, verbally degrading them and physically assaulting them. Three years ago they fled to a transition house and their father made an unsuccessful suicide attempt. Now they see him two days a week. 119 B14 This twelve-year-old, responded to the violence at home by telling his father to stop. He stood up to protect his brother. His challenges to his father were met with physical punishment and critical judgments. In group, the counsellor observed, he was emotionally "cool" and socially insecure, seeking to gain the approval of the remainder of the group. His stories at the intake interview provided the facilitator with clues to this low self-esteem: l.Some kids are really different so they won't have a lot of friends. 2.Sometimes you can rush so much you will be ready before anyone else. 3.Dad can get drunk and hit mom then go to jail but he will get out and hit her again. There is an overriding unpredictability and lack of agency in each story. Even when the hero is totally responsible for the outcome, as in the second story, he can't predict whether he will fail to do his chore or get it done impossibly early. Also striking is the end to the first story, presented almost as a footnote; the hero simply died. It was unconnected to any event in the story, suggesting the hand of fate has swept away this inconsequential figure. Cochran (1993) noted that asymmetric morals exist where the hero's positive actions, being good at math and reading bibles, leading to negative ends, such as death. This is a negative principle of living which discourages good behavior. 120 Even when examined in sequence, this child's three narratives at first appear disconnected, just as the outcome of each story is disconnected to the actions of the hero. Once again, Schank's (1990) suggestion to explore the skeleton stories and their lessons provides a clearer understanding: Topic: 1.school friends 2.breakfast 3.parents fighting at home Goal: l.to have friends 2.being ready3.to be safe Result:1.you die 2.you're too 3.dad comes back without them early drunk and hits /hurts mom Lesson:1.you are different2.you can't 3.you are not safe than everyone control what else and will be will happen rejected His father's physical assaults and verbal attacks on the mother and all the children have impressed this boy with the life script; You're not safe, no one will help you, and you have no control. This is an introjection of the messages used by his father to exert power and control within the family environment. Button's (1996) profile of the batterer includes the self-report of shame, which he would project onto his spouse in an attempt to control her and justify his abusive behavior. This boy appears to have internalized such a message of shame. His self-image, projected onto the hero in the first story, is outcast for being religious and a good student. 121 How best then can this child be supported to heal the negative self-image and regain a sense of agency, in order to avoid the perpetuation of this introjected shame? Cochran (1990) suggests that you can use story writing to help the child to re-write a life script, journeying together to build a series of new self-statements and rehearse them in progressively more trying experiences. Such a cognitive intervention is highly individual and perhaps best suited for one-to-one counselling. Through group, this boy will benefit additionally from esteem- building activities, safety planning, defining and recognizing abuse and learning about boundaries. This approach will address the impediments to agency internalized from the abuse he experienced at home while fostering a sense of communion and support in the group. B15 This seven-year-old, the younger brother of the previous child (B14), is a model child in group. He is active and socially motivated, follows the rules, is attentive to the facilitator and participates willingly in all activities. At home, during his father's rages when he was preschool age, this boy would hide. The subsequent change to more extroverted behavior concurrent with his brother's growing insecurity is evidence of a dynamic sibling system. A polarity appears to have developed along the dimension of self-confidence. It grew in the younger boy just as it weakened in his older brother. They also appear to hold differing impressions of their father, as evident in the third story: 122 l.You can play and draw at school until time runs out. 2.You can play and pretend to kill yourself, then time runs out. 3.Dad can get angry throw mom down and threaten her, and when the police come after him he will try to kill himself because he doesn't like you or anyone in the family. But he won't die, someone will save him. Behind his outward appearance of confidence in group, this boy is still attempting to make sense of his father's suicide attempt. Perhaps he overheard an adult conversation of his father's motives or he is simply trying to fill in the missing information to make sense of it. In the second story he is sharing this gradually, allowing the interviewer to see the hero who pretends to die, within the rules of a game. Games represent the child's interpretation of the adult world and create an egocentric interpretation of such information. Topic: Goal: l.what you do at school 2.playing with 3.parents fighting/ l.to draw Result:1 Lesson:1 time runs out you won't finish his family 2.pretend to die 2.time runs out 2.you don't really die dad's suicide attempt 3.to get back at others in family 3.someone will stop him from killing himself 3.family members can threaten each other but won't really do anything 123 The life script this boy creates through the metaphor of play indicates that he is attempting to minimize the violence, threats, and put-downs he has witnessed; You can threaten others but you have to stop pretending when time runs out. This is a denial of feeling. As Cochran (1993) noted, an absence of feeling, in addition to thinking or doing, within a story suggests a lack which the child can be assisted in filling in. The group discussion of feelings - what they are, how they are experienced physically and in different circumstances, and how they relate to needs - will be valuable in supporting this child to identify his own emotional responses, which are prerequisite to developing empathy. Summary of Individual Stories This analysis exemplified how rich the narratives are that children tell, even when their familiarity with the interviewer is limited. The stories they tell can be used to help understand better what the child's internal representational model of the world looks like, defined in terms of her or his life scripts. Consequently more information is available upon which to base a therapeutic intervention. Table 5 lists, in sequence, of all the life scripts identified in the analysis above. Clearly, each child has a distinctive life script. A summary can be presented as a sampling of world views of children who witness domestic abuse; 124 Table 5 Life scripts produced from children's stories I must learn how to make things better (G1) You can fix things by being good (G2) Someone you love won't leave you if you agree with them(G3) You will feel mad if others are mean to you (G4) You must do well to keep others happy, but you can't succeed without their help (G5) The world is a scary place, but eventually it will change and you will be happy (G6) You can only be with your friends if you follow the rules (G7) Painful things must be dealt with before you will feel better and have fun (G8) It's not safe to draw anyone's attention to you . . . (G9) You can't make friends unless you get help (GIO) Although you may be scared or angry, keep going - you will succeed and feel happy (Bl) Loved ones will leave you and you can't do anything but feel sad (B2) You can't count on others for help, do what you need to for yourself (B3) Problems eventually go away and things get settled . . (B4) You will feel sad and worry because others fight . . . (B5) You are responsible for bad things that happen and you will feel awful (B6) If you ignore others eventually they will complain and then they will have to apologize to you . . . (B7) Do whatever you need to in order to feel better and avoid pain (B8) If you get hurt you will heal and you can shoot back from a secret place (B9) People who have more power can get others to stop bugging them by hitting them (BIO) Find a way to make others happy so they won't be angry with you (Bll) To succeed you must persevere (B12) When you are in trouble, you will be able to find help if you look hard enough B13) You're not safe, no one will help you, and you have no control (B14) You can threaten others but you have to stop pretending when time runs out (B15) 125 Children who witness violence may feel sad, hurt, or angry because the world is dangerous and painful. They may want to avoid making others upset and try to find ways to keep them happy. They might believe that they need to learn the rules and follow them closely so that things will turn out for the better. Or they may threaten others because its the only way to get what they want. Some believe that all problems go away if you leave them, while others doubt that they ever will or that there's anything you can do. Some feel responsible for all the bad things that happen and believe that they can or should fix everything. And a few, even though they're scared, know they need to keep going. Gender Differences Is there a difference between the stories of boys and girls overall? As a test, cut a copy of the list from Table 5 into individual script items, removing the gender identification. Then ask a colleague to distinguish between boys' and girls' scripts. In a pilot survey conducted by this researcher (n=3), accurate matches exceeded mistakes by and average of 15 to 10 (ave. 6.33 correct to 3.67 incorrect for girls/ 8.67 correct to 6.37 incorrect for boys), suggesting that there is indeed some gender effect. Recognizing, however, that blind guessing alone would generate 12.5 matches on average, this effect is small. It appears that gender differences account for less variation than they overlook. The question of gender will be reopened in the next chapter to examine what particular themes are, indeed, gender specific and what role temperament may play in mediating that influence. 126 Observations Available in Individual Cases The above analysis demonstrates how the use of story can elucidate the child's inner world for the counsellor or group facilitator. This provides a basis for individually- tailored therapeutic responses, even within group. Summarized below are several other uses of the narrative analysis. Screening for Group: Individually many variations are found among children. Clearly there is no single way in which children interpret the violence they have witnessed at home. Their narratives help to illuminate this inner representation of the world for the therapist. This is valuable at the intake and planning stages. In some cases participation in the group may be contra-indicated. For example, G4 evidenced insecure attachment behavior in her narrative as well as presenting behavior, and B9 expressed revenge fantasy, suggesting for both that group participation may be premature. Group Planning: The narrative may also provide a means of anticipating the needs and social skills of the participants. Valuable insight is gained into the means by which a highly-active child (Bl) may rely upon physical activity to pursue safety when entering a group. His stories expressed an optimism that sustains the energy he must put into pursuing his goals. One child, B15, dealt with missing information about 127 his father's suicide with cognitive distortions that are both understandable and in need of correction. Another boy, BIO, who needs to understand the rules, interpreted the initial lack of consequence to the abusive spouse's behavior as a justification for this use of violence in conflict. Intervention is needed to correct cognitions that value power and justify abusive behavior. The group can play an educational role and teach children about boundaries and the use of conflict resolution skills. There may also be issues that need to be prioritized. Many including G9, B2, B5, come into the group with insecurity that must first be responded to in order to create a level of trust needed to participate (Amundson, Borgen, Westwood, & Pollard, 1989) . Similarly, safety for others can be established by introducing the topic of needs and boundaries early in the group process, particularly when abuse has been directed at the child (B6 and B14). Others, including Gl and G2, are weighted by an overbearing sense of responsibility for what has happened to their family. Addressing this initially, exploring different types of families and normalizing their experience as well as distinguishing between parents' and children's responsibilities, can clear their psyche to make way for the lessons that follow. Some children such as B7 relate stories that reveal a healing process unfolding as the children discover healthier ways to relate to others in their outer world than was modeled for them. While there remain issues that need to be addressed from an educational perspective, opportunities exist to validate each child's inner-healing. 128 Identifying Degrees of Agency: Children portray their personal causation or agency through story (Cochran, 1993). Recall from the previous section that some children, such as B3 and G5, believe that they can solve problems encountered. They demonstrated positive agentic motives. Some children, such as G2, created heroes whose actions indirectly influenced the behavior of others. When the hero began to do well in school, this girl expressed, her parents reconciliation improved. Children such as B4, in contrast, saw no role for the hero to effect change but recognized that they could approach others such as teachers or police to intervene on their behalf. Occasionally, as in the cases of G4 and B2, a child is simply too discouraged to believe that she or he can do anything to change the course of events. In each of these cases, the group can provide the role of mutual support and encouragement. The activities and responses can be oriented to promote positive self-worth and sense of accomplishment. Others, such as B10,B12, and B15, have egocentric need- dominated scripts which, combined with low agency, lead to a passive-aggressive interactional style. In such cases, the above intervention can be complimented with an educational component to address conflict resolution and need attainment. 129 Identifying Degrees of Communion; Similarly, children vary in their perception of and need for communion (McAdams, 1990) or nurturance (Clarke & Dawson, 1989). Children's stories which relate a low degree of communion express fear-based distress. In such cases as B2, B5, and B6 pessimism is pervasive throughout their narrative. Some children hold a more realistic view of the world; sometimes the world can be supportive and at other times it will oppose them. This ambivalence is consequently expressed in their stories, as the analysis of B13, G4, and GIO found. Note that these children express highly agentic motives in their stories. Heroes persist in spite of the conflict they encounter. Agency may influence communion in cases such as this. Children who maintain a high sense of communion are more difficult to identify. This is because the need for communion resolves when it is satisfied. Yet in many narratives an encouraging background is described complete with a supportive cast of characters, more evident from an examination of the actual transcripts of the stories (Appendix G). Examples include the proud mother (G5) and friends (G7 and B4). Developmental Considerations: It can be difficult to distinguish the impact of witnessing violence from normal developmental challenges, such as the need to enhance one's self-efficacy and sense of belonging with peers, as noted above. To the counsellor, though, this distinction is not critical. 130 The influence of witnessing abuse upon the child's development is both direct and indirect. Since the self- healing archetype directs each child to a unique path of healing, the counsellor is at best confided in and at worst blind to the child's healing and must attend to the cues these stories offer. Indication of Abuse: Sometimes stories indicate interventions are needed with the families. The story told by G7, for example, suggested that her need to follow the rules was a response to distress and fear. Her stories expressed a belief that a failure to know the rules would be lead to negative consequences. This is not confirmation of abusive punishment by a parent, since an incomplete understanding of rules and globalized interpretations of consequences are a normal part of the development of morality in middle childhood (Piaget & Inhelder, 1969). Storytelling does, however, provide the counsellor with one indicator to be followed up with an examination of the family environment. Life Script Clusters The analysis so far has explored the diverse and unique perspectives expressed through the stories of the children in this study, each suggesting an individual therapeutic response. Yet among these children many similarities exist. In this next section clusters of children with similar narrative scripts will be identified. Cognitive and affective motives will be considered and appropriate group interventions proposed. 131 To use a metaphor from astronomy, the observation range is broadened beyond individual stars to discover the constellations they lie within. While losing some resolution by focusing beyond the individual, the advantage available to the practitioner applying these findings lies in speed of recognition. In addition, an analysis of clusters will generate hypotheses in the following chapter when the role of temperament is considered. Cluster 1. "You can/must figure it out/solve the problem/ fix it": A number of children express scripts that suggest through their hero that they feel compelled to solve some sort of problem presented within the story. There could be several reasons for this. A child might, for instance, feel capable of resolving the difficulty and simply proceed to do the obvious. These are children with highly agentic motives. They know that they are capable of resolving problems and act congruently. Children with this view, such as B3 and G5, were observed to act as leaders within their groups. Another subgroup within this cluster exists whose heroes express a desire to please, to do well, and the motive appears to be one of fear. If the child doesn't do well it perceives a negative outcome. Four girls, G1,G2,G3, and G7, have stories which suggest such a life script and all exhibited model behavior in group or, in the case of G7, model but withdrawn. 132 Finally, a third subgroup appears of two children, G8 and Bll, who are also motivated by fear but less optimistic in their expectation of the outcome. Their behavior in group was withdrawn. As a group, these children can be described as model children, those who Jaffe, Wolfe, and Wilson (1990) note accept an exaggerated sense of responsibility for the violence in their family. What general interventions are indicated? The healing component to therapy may lie in the ability to help them understand what has happened, to hear that they are not responsible for what has happened, to know that talking to counsellors and caregivers is okay and that others in their community will respond if they are needed, and to know that the world can be safe. Cluster 2. "I must get what I want": Some children express a need to get their way, although it appears to matter less what the objective is than the success of the outcome. The children did not subordinate their goals - from having a record for the most pink slips (B12) and having time to play (B15) to getting others to stop hurting them (BIO) - according to the situation or the needs of others. It seems to be more a need to act upon the world that compels them. One lesson observed to recur among this cluster is that you can have what you want and you should just keep trying for it. This is characteristic of Jung's (1923) extroverted sensation type, whose aim is concrete enjoyment. Note the exclusivity of boys rather than girls 133 within this life script cluster. Jung (1923) also noted the majority of people within this type appear to be male. This may be where socialization plays a role. The scripts of the boys within this cluster appear to be lacking in cognitive insight. In particular, the means to accomplish the end were undeveloped. This revealed that problem behavior arose in some circumstances not because of intentional opposition as much as learned behavior and lack of problem solving skills. These youth simply did not have knowledge of alternative means of getting their needs met, yet were found to be remarkably capable of changing with the aid of explicit problem solving guidance. Among children who witness domestic violence there is modeling by the abusive parent, in these cases the fathers, of acting upon impulse and failure to perceive long term consequences. The bias, then, is towards men taking the assertive role. Clearly, though, modeling by the same gender parent alone is not sufficient to account for the behavior adopted by the child. There were nine other boys included in this study who did not repeat the pattern of relationship portrayed by their father, nor did the girls in either of the two cases where the mother was the abusive parent. This lends credence to the assertion that environment and observational learning play an important, but not isolated, role in the interpretations children make witnessing domestic violence. In the next chapter temperamental differences that distinguish these boys will be considered. 134 Three boys in this cluster (B7, B9, BIO) have life scripts which involve retaliation. This elucidates the origin of the passive-aggressive response to distress noted by Don Button (1996) among men who batter. Consider, for example, B7's script, "If you don't want to do something don't pay attention, or just leave if they keep it up. You'll be forgiven later." Button (1996) suggests that shame underlies this non-sociable behavior in adult men. It is possible that these boys, too, are motivated to avoid feelings of rejection and shafae. Passive-aggressivity may be seen as a maladaptive attempt to increase agency in a family environment in which the child experiences shame. This hypothesis could be tested with men who batter, comparing self-reports of shaming experiences in childhood with a script analysis of their life history. If life scripts similar to this cluster are prevalent among men who experienced shame in childhood within their family, this may that confirm children in this cluster are at a greater risk to repeat the cycle of violence witnessed at home. It is vital, therefore, to help them re-author new, healthier life scripts. It is important to provide these boys with alternative male role-models. They may be more vulnerable to identify with their same gender parent, experience shame through identification, and then project this shame out to others through passive-aggressivity, particularly if their sense of agency is diminished. Three other boys within this cluster, Bl, B12, and B15, express the attitude "I must win." One interpretation of this script based upon the psychoanalytic model is that they seek object gratification as a substitute for love and 135 have become fixated at an oral stage of development. This is more agentic than the passive-aggressive script. These are boys that Jaffe, Wolfe, and Wilson (1990) described as angry and acting out. The facilitator can help them to identify alternative means of conflict resolution and getting needs met. This will respond to their underlying emotional need for security and nurturance. Cluster 3. "The world is a dangerous place, so...": For something to be dangerous there must be a receiver who perceives fear. So children within this cluster have a fear-based life script. They may have a dominant Feeling function, according to Jung's typology. Such children subjectively evaluate the world and their affect leads rather than responds to cognition. Of one Feeling-dominant client Jung wrote, "What she cannot feel, she cannot consciously think" (Jung, 1923,p.449). Note that the description of this cluster is stated in an incomplete sentence. That is because there are five conclusions that children offer, each representing a sub- group preferring to adopt a different response. Subgroup 3(a) "...get help": The first subgroup includes two girls (G4 and GIG) and a boy (B13) who respond to the dangerous world by getting help. Despite the common affective tone of their narrative, each of these three behave differently in group. One girl is angry, the other withdrawn, and the boy is a leader among his peers. 136 All the stories share a high degree of agency expressed through persistence and an ambivalent sense of communion. Some people may be there to support them, but others certainly are not. These children could be described as both model and fearful. Subgroup 3(b) "...you will feel sad": The next subgroup consists of three boys (B2, B5, and B6) who respond to their fear of the world with sadness. Each is withdrawn in group. Their stories demonstrate a low sense of communion ("...others fight," "...dad will leave," "...bad things happen") combined with low self-efficacy ("...you will worry," "...and you can't do anything," "...you can't avoid feeling sad"). This is the withdrawn and fearful child. It is possible to speculate upon the difference in gender response between these first two subgroups. From a social perspective this difference could suggest that gender socialization combines with the child's dispositional qualities to influence adjustment. Girls are encouraged to be more communal and this is more functional for a Feeling-dominant girl, who recognizes that she can turn to others for help. A Feeling-dominant boy, on the other hand, may be influenced by social norms that boys are valued for their independence and shamed for their emotions. He thus would be less able to recognize that help is available or that it is acceptable to seek it, and would be left with his own emotional experience. 137 Yet social influence cannot fully explain such differences, noting that one boy was included with two girls in subgroup 3(a). Nor does it extend to the three smaller subgroups of children who attempt to avoid negative feelings, described next. Subgroup 3(c) "...get away and hide'': Here children are figuratively distancing from their emotional fear of the world. One boy (B8) is oppositional in group, attempting to, "Get away to a safe place." One girl (G9) is attempting to shrink, as her script reveals, believing she must avoid detection. Their distance can now be better understood as a means of creating a safe space. Subgroup 3(d) "...you^ll get hurt": This boy (B14) is focusing on physical rather than emotional pain. He is discouraged and low in agency. He appears to be an emotionally detached child but underneath his surface coolness lies a need for social acceptance, displacing his nurturance needs from family to peers. Subgroup 3(e) "...don't worry, it will get better and you will feel happy then": Finally, these two children (B4 and G6) engage in distracting behavior, and their motives are revealed here. The dangerous world is too overwhelming and they look for a magical resolution. This cognitive distortion creates a fantasy-based sense of communion. They may appear as the distracters and clowns of the group. 138 Common to all these subgroups of children within this third cluster is a low sense of support or communion, combined with varying levels of agency and affective inner- attunement. The therapeutic response must validate that it is okay to get help and acknowledge their feelings. With children who have cognitively detached from their feelings, particularly in subgroups 3(c),(d), and (e), it is important to emphasize that there is no current danger and validate safety in the here-and-now. Such children may not be able to hear anything else until the fear of anxiety- provoking stress is replaced with a sense of nurturance. Summary Children's stories have revealed how unique their individual adjustment and coping is. They indicated whether group participation was appropriate, what individual needs existed and whether any topics needed to be prioritized. They were also indicative of the healing processes of individual children and highlighted blocks to self-efficacy that could be addressed. Family problems were brought to light that could be discussed in parent groups, or addressed through filial therapy and by engaging other family members in a therapeutic dialogue. Stories also confirmed that some children share similar coping styles. Some were withdrawn and fearful while others were withdrawn and agentic. How is this information helpful? It confirms, at a macro level, that needs differ between children. 139; For theorists and researchers it helps to account for the patterns of adjustment observed and differential responses to external factors that may help or hinder a child's healing. This will be discussed in the next chapter. For group facilitators this use of story as an intake technique helps to illuminate the child's perspective. In case after case, it provides cognitive scripts and affective expressions that suggest, if not explicitly state, the motives underlying the child's coping behavior. In each case consistent life scripts could be found within all three stories. This chapter presented an exploration of the inner world of children who have witnessed domestic abuse. What accounts for the consistent use by some children, but not others, of one style of coping or belief system as opposed to another? In the next chapter factors cited in earlier research are reexamined with this question in mind. 140 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS It is clear that the individual narratives of children are rich in meaning and offer tremendous insight into the child's world. In the preceding chapter children's projections onto others were noted along with their expectations of interpersonal relationships, their self image, and their interpretations of violence. Now a bigger picture can be discerned. In particular implications will be examined for alternative theoretical models currently used to explain the impact of witnessing domestic violence upon children. This discussion will consider, in turn, the cycle of violence hypothesis which draws largely upon the impact of observational learning, the family disruption hypothesis taking into account family systems and the needs of individual family members, attachment theory which considers the impact of domestic violence upon the child's relationship with his or her primary caregiver, post- traumatic stress disorder literature which may account for the coping behavior observed in a subset of this population, and the influence of various other factors included as explanatory variables in previous behavior- oriented research. First the intermediary role of temperament will be considered so that its influence can be included in this discussion. 141 The Intermediary Role of Temperament The discussion of temperament has been deferred until this point because the primary intent of this research was to develop a storytelling technique for use by counsellors in individual cases and see how effective it can be in identifying each child's life scripts. Similarities emerged among certain clusters of children displaying similar adjustments to domestic violence. In both the microanalysis (each child's script) and the macroanalysis (identifying clusters of scripts) of the last chapter the goal was to determine how best to respond to the child's needs. Now temperament can be introduced to explore its intermediary role and better understand these general coping patterns. This secondary research goal moves beyond exploring what a child is thinking and feeling to ask why this child responds in that way. Temperament Scores of the Participants To begin, what are the temperamental characteristics of the study group? Table 6 presents their scores on the dimensions of Emotionality, Activity, and Sociability assessed using the Colorado Childhood Temperament Inventory (CCTI)- Teachers' Form (Buss and Plomin, 1984). Each dimension is rated on five items per to a maximum score of 25.00. Data for non-matched comparison is obtained for ages 7 to 10, from a study by Schmitz (1994) providing teacher ratings of 34 boys and 34 girls over 4 years. 142 Table 6 CCTI Temperament Scores* for Participants with Non-Matched Comparison Group (Schmitz, 1994) BOYS (CWWA STUDY PARTICIPANTS): Age 7 8 9 10 11 12 (n =3) (n =1) (n =4) (n =3) (n =2) (n =2) Mean Mean Mean Mean Mean Mean E m o t i o n a l i t y 11.33 9.00 13.25 13.00 11.00 13.00 A c t i v i t y 23.33 25.00 18.25 19.00 18.50 17.50 S o c i a b i l i t y 22.67 21.00 19.50 18.00 18.00 17.00 GIRLS (CWWA STUDY PARTICIPANTS): Age 7 8 9 10 11 12 (n =1) (n =2) (n =2) (n =4) (n =1) (n =0) Mean Mean Mean Mean Mean Mean E m o t i o n a l i t y 12.00 14.00 10.00 15.00 9.00 n . a . A c t i v i t y 14.00 13.00 14.50 18.25 13.00 n . a . S o c i a b i l i t y 17.00 15.50 18.50 15.50 16.00 n . a . Total (n = 15) Mean 12.20 19.80 19.40 Total (n = 10) Mean 11.50 15.50 16.20 BOYS (COMPARISON GROUP**): Age E m o t i o n a l i t y A c t i v i t y S o c i a b i l i t y 7 8 Mean Mean 9 10 11 Mean Mean Mean 11.04 10.58 11.11 11.04 (4.38) (4.52) (4.45) (4.49) 19.13 18.75 18.78 18.54 (3.82) (3.90) (4.07) (4.12) 18.02 18.19 18.68 18.62 (3.89) (4.19) (3.87) (3.87) n.a. n.a. n.a, GIRLS (COMPARISON GROUP**): 12 Mean n . a . n . a . To ta l* Mean 10.94 18.80 18.38 Age E m o t i o n a l i t y A c t i v i t y S o c i a b i l i t y 7 8 9 10 11 Mean Mean Mean Mean Mean 10.26 11.04 10.50 10.91 n . a . (4.03) (4.43) (4.37) (4.05) 18.03 18.00 17.93 17.99 n . a . (4.01) (4.11) (3.89) (4.39) 18.51 18.54 18.25 17.95 n . a . 12 Mean n . a . n . a . n . a . T o t a l Mean 10.68 17.99 18.31 (4.24) (4.33) (4.08) (4.60) * Temperament scores are based upon the Teacher Rating form of the Colorado Childhood Temperament Inventory. ** For the comparison group, used for control in a study by Schmitz (1994), the standard deviation is indicated in parentheses. The comparison group total mean gives equal weight to each age. 143 A few observations can readily be made from the scores summarized in Table 6. The children who have witnessed domestic abuse appear to differ in their scores from the published comparison group of school children. The small sample size obtained within each age group, however, limit their reliability and requires replication. With that caveat, the differences that appear can now be examined. On the Emotionality dimension, boys in this study score consistently higher than the comparison group across all ages with the exception of age 8 (n=l) as do girls, with the exception of age 9 (n=2). Further, while Activity and Sociability scores in the comparison group are moderately stable across ages, the scores for this sample are markedly higher among the younger boys, over one standard deviation higher than the comparison group for Activity at age 7 (n=3) in fact, and decline steadily to more normal scores approaching adolescence. Meanwhile, scores for the girls participating in this study on the dimensions of Activity, with the exception of age 10 (n=4), and Sociability lie consistently lower than the norms of the comparison group. These scores deviate in a pattern consistent with the predictions suggested by earlier studies into the impact of witnessing violence upon children. If Emotionality and Activity are linked to behavioral adjustment, for.instance, the deviations support the initial findings that boys who witness violence tend to engage in more externalizing, aggressive behaviors and girls more internalizing, submissive behavior (Curamings, Davies, & Simpson,1994; Porter & O'Leary, 1980; Wolfe, Zak, Wilson, & Jaffe, 1986). 144 Another explanation for these variations must be considered, however. The CCTI-Teachers' Form was designed for use in the classroom. The environment of the CWWA group is not identical to that in the classroom in which these comparison means were established. To begin with, the group size is much smaller. The average CWWA group is only 5.7 children (Tait, 1994). The smaller group size increases visibility and perceived vulnerability which could help, in particular, to explain the higher scores for Emotionality. Indeed, Schmitz (1994) confirmed that Emotionality showed less evidence of rater agreement between teacher and parent which she concluded might be indicative of the different contexts in which the children were known. Similarly, Activity and Sociability scores may be impacted by the small group environment. Boys, arguably, are socially validated in the use of high energy activities to distract from or express their anxiety which is heightened in small groups. The lower scores for girls may be indicative of similar social pressures. The age 10 cohort of four girls whose scores for Activity increased above the comparison group, notably, included three who participated in an all-girl group. This might indicate that girls in mixed groups suppress their level of activity from a preferred, higher level. While similiar social pressures exist in the classroom, the possibility cannot be ruled out that the smaller group size in this program has induced a more pronounced effect upon the temperament scores. Therefore, these findings cannot be generalized beyond this sample. 145 Nonetheless, this measure is of value in providing a means to distinguish between children along basic and verifiable dimensions as a preliminary investigation into the mediating role of temperament. Figure 1 illustrates the variations in temperament and depicts the probabilities represented by a normal distribution. The axes are logarithmic scales of distribution of each temperament score, based upon the comparison group provided by Schmitz (1994) . Since her study did not include age 11 or 12, participants in this study in those age groups are plotted in relation to the mean and deviations of the age 10 cohort in the comparison group. GlO(ll) B5(9) B2 (16) G8(14) Low Activity- G2 (16) Gl (17) G4 (13) Higli Emotionality B8(18) .G7(18) B3(18) G9(17) . G3(20) -Bll(15)- -B13(19)- B9 (23) BIO (23) -B6(17)- B7(21) G5 (23) B15(25) G6(17) B4(21) Bl (20) -High Activity B14(25) B12(21) Low Emotionality Figure 1: EAS Temperament Scores for Participants (Sociability scores in parentheses) * dotted line - one standard deviation from the mean 146 The clusters of life scripts noted in Chapter Four are most evident when plotted along the dimensions using scores of Emotionality and Activity. Consequently this format has been adopted, with Sociability shown in parentheses. A framework is established from which to view the role of temperament. If the validity of Buss and Plomin's model extends to children who have experienced domestic violence and if temperament plays a mediating role in determining how children respond to that experience, patterns will be evident to indicate that relationship. Frequency of Affective Words According.to Temperament The use of references in the stories which allude to affect can be analyzed. If Temperament plays a role in the child's inner representations of the world, feeling content will vary accordingly. This is assessed by a simple frequency count of affective references, noting their positive or negative valence. Children low in Emotionality but high in Activity and Sociability (G5,B7,B12,B14,and B15) expressed few emotional references (average 0.36 affect references per story), somewhat more negative ("upset,""mad,""didn't like") than positive ("happily,""proud"). Those low in Activity and Sociability as well as Emotionality (Gl,G2,and B13) also made few references to emotion (average 0.56 affective adjectives per story) but they had a more positive valence("proud,""feel better,""happy") than negative ("mad" "wasn't happy"). There were no children in this sample low in Emotionality and Sociability but high in Activity or low in Emotionality and Activity but high in Sociability. 147 More emotional referencing (average 0.86 affect references per story) was contained in the stories of nine children high in both Emotionality and Sociability. The five who were low in Activity (G3,G7,G9,B3,and B8) expressed dichotomous emotions ("mad" vs."happy,""sad" vs."feeling better,""jealous" vs."fun") while the four boys high in Activity (Bl, B4, B9, and BIO) expressed many negative feelings ("angry,""scared,""mad,""annoying") to relatively few positive feelings ("happy,""feeling better"). The greatest frequency of affective statements occurred among eight children high in Emotionality and low in Sociability, averaging 1.71 affect references per story. The most sophisticated emotional descriptions were contained in the stories of six children scoring high in Activity (G4,G8,G10,B2,B5,and Bll). In addition to standard affective words such as "mad" and "sad" these narratives included delineations such as "amazed" and "bugging," "missing him" to describe loss, in addition to projections onto the feelings of others towards the protagonist, such as "loved," "liked her," "worried," "people liked him," and "mad at him." Finally, the group scoring high in Activity, in addition to Emotionality and low in Sociability consisted of one boy and one girl who expressed considerable worry and upset ("feels really bad," "awful," "really sad,""upset,""shy,""afraid,""angry, ""lonely, " "bored,""wasn't feeling so happy") with only one positive reference ("happy"). 148 Figure 2 summarizes these findings. Overall, children scoring higher in Activity are observed to use more negative descriptions of emotions and children scoring higher in Emotionality tend to use more frequent references to emotions. Among children high in Emotionality, those low in Sociability referenced more frequently to the emotions of the antagonist towards the protagonist in contrast to a more egocentric focus among those high in Sociability. HIGH EMOTIONALITY LOW ACTIVITY LOW SOCIABILITY = 1.31 affect references per story (n=3 boys, 3 girls) pos. amazed, loved, liked her/him neg. bugging, missing him, worried, mad, sad, mad at him Higli Emotionality HIGH EMOTIONALITY HIGH ACTIVITY LOW SOCIABILITY = 3.00 affect references per story (n= 1 boy, 1 girl) pos.happy neg.feels really bad, awful, really sad, upset, shy, afraid, angry, lonely, bored, wasn't happy HIGH EMOTIONALITY LOW ACTIVITY HIGH SOCIABILITY = 0. 67 affect references per story (n=2 boys, 3 girls) pos. happy, feeling better, fun neg. mad, sad, jealous Low Activity • LOW EMOTIONALITY LOW ACTIVITY LOW S0CI7VBILITY = 0.56 affect references per story (n=l boy, 2 girls) pos. proud, feel better, happy neg. mad, wasn't happy Low Emotionality HIGH EMOTIONALITY HIGH ACTIVITY HIGH SOCIABILITY = 1.10 affect references per story (n= 4 boys) pos.happy,feeling better neg.angry, scared, mad, annoying High Activity LOW EMOTIONALITY HIGH ACTIVITY HIGH SOCIABILITY = 0.36 affect references per story (n= 4 boys, 1 girl) pos. happily, proud neg. upset, mad, didn't like Figure 2: Frequency and Valence of Affect References According to Temperament 149 These results are consistent with theoretical expectations and help to clarify the affective experience of temperamental differences. Whereas high Emotionality is experienced as a high overall experiencing of affect, evidenced by the increased frequency of affect references within the story, high Activity is associated with negative affect, suggesting that it is motivated by a desire to reduce tension and therefore serves a self-regulatory capacity, as Buss and Plomin (1984) suggested. Sociability, finally, indicates a person's orientation to the affect of others. Lower Sociability corresponds to a higher preference to reference from others. Script Clusters along Temperamental Dimensions The clusters of similar life scripts identified in Chapter Four can now be revisited. In the following section these clusters will be plotted according to EAS temperament scores. Similarities and distinctions in narrative content that coincide with temperament will be noted. Cluster 1. "You can/must figure it out/solve the problem/ fix it"; Recall that these children narrated heroes who were compelled to solve the problem presented within the story. Some were highly agentic and acted as leaders within their groups, whereas others were motivated by fear rather than confidence and exhibited model or withdrawn behavior. 150 Temperamentally, all the children in this cluster, with one exception, score lower than the comparison group mean on scores of Activity. Those with a motive of confidence scored the highest on this dimension. In addition, they scored moderately on Emotionality and Sociability. Children who were model, motivated by fear but at least hopeful of a positive outcome, had lower scores for Activity. Those who feared a negative outcome and were more withdrawn also scored lower on Activity but higher on Emotionality. Figure 3 plots these children according to temperament score, showing their behavior in group and suggested motive. Consistently low scores on Activity are characteristic of this cluster. In the previous section, examining references to affect, this temperamental dimension was noted to reflect a child's self-regulatory propensity to act in order to reduce tension. Low Activity scores correlated to more positive affect and less urgent need to act. For self-regulation these children have a propensity to rely upon cognitive judgement rather than behavioral action and their heroes similarly express a need to know the right course to follow before acting. It may be relevant that two children who received other counselling prior to this interview were most optimistic, whereas only two of the other six received such earlier intervention. Witnessing violence, therefore, may have a negative effect upon expectations. The influence of other counselling will be re-examined in a subsequent section in this chapter. 151 High Emotionality G8: WrrapRAWN (11) G7: WITHDRAWN/ MODEL CHILD (18) (motive: fear) (motive: fear) B3: LEADER (18) (motive: confidence) G3: MODEL CHILD (20) (motive: fear) Low Activity- Bl 1: WITHDRAWN (15)- . High Activity (motive: fear) G2: MODEL CHILD (16) (motive: fear) G5: LEADER (23) (moUve: confidence) Gl: MODEL CHILD (17) (motive: fear) Low Emotionality Figure 3: Cluster 1* Showing Group Behavior and Temperament (Sociability in Parentheses) *Cluster 1: children who share the life script, "You can/must figure it out/solve the problem/ fix it" On the dimension of Sociability most children within this cluster scored moderate, however the two pessimistic problem-solvers (Bll and G8) who tended to withdraw scored lowest, whereas model or leadership behavior is noted among optimistic problem-solvers (B3,G3, and G5) who scored above the mean. Recall that low Sociability scores reflect greater attention of the affect of others within children's stories. This validates an intuitively sensible conclusion that too great an awareness of the affect of others inhibits self-assertiveness and a moderate or healthy egocentrism is needed to assume a leadership role. 152 So the findings can be summarized to arrive at the following tentative hypothesis (references to high and low scores on any dimension are relative to the mean of the comparison group for their age group): (a) Children who have witnessed violence and have low Activity temperament scores need to know the right solution. They may be more likely to perceive a role for themselves, as revealed through their life scripts, to solve the conflict. Among this group; (b) Children with higher Emotionality scores and lower Sociability scores are more withdrawn from group behavior, motivated by fear and pessimism. (c) In contrast, children with lower Emotionality scores are more attentive and compliant to group activity, following the rules. (d) When low Emotionality accompanies moderate Sociability, associated with a healthy egocentrism, and a higher Activity, reflecting a need to act to reduce tension, children can be motivated by their own sense of agency to replace fear with optimism, anticipating a favorable resolution to conflict. Cluster 2. "I must get what I want": These children were noted in the previous chapter for a perseverance in attaining some goal, although it appeared to matter more whether or not they succeeded than what the objective was. These children did not wish to subordinate their goals. 153 High Emotionality Low Activity- B9: DISTRACTING (23) BIO: LEADER (23) Bl:HYPERACnVE(20) -High Activity B7: DISTRACTING (21) B12: PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE (21) B15: MODEL CHILD (25) Low Emotionality Figure 4: Cluster 2* Showing Group Behavior and Temperament (Sociability in Parentheses) ^Cluster 2: children who share the life script, "I must get what I want" This cluster, presented above in Figure 4, is exclusive to boys who have high scores in Activity and Sociability. Together with the earlier observations of affective content, this would indicate that children in this cluster are less aware of others' feelings and express a need to act in order to abate their own tension. 154 Within this cluster, boys with higher Emotionality scores express this need with an energetic frenzy, noted in group for their distracting behavior. This indicates a need or desire to avoid discussion of personal issues, which may be either fear based or simply from lack of the appropriate vocabulary needed to discuss such matters. Children lower in Emotionality adopt a more passive approach to getting their way. This suggests that they are either discouraged in their ability to bring about change or have learned passive aggressive behavior displayed by one or both parents. One child (B7) exhibited both tendencies in group. He was often distracting other group members but also sought sympathy or appreciation. Just as generalizations were suggested for the first cluster, the following tentative hypothesis will be offered here: (a) Boys who have witnessed violence and score higher than the mean for their age group on the temperament dimensions of Activity and Sociability may have life scripts that express a strong need to act upon the world to get their needs met. (b) Among this group, boys who score higher on Emotionality may utilize distracting behavior in group process. It would seem that adopting a distracting behavior is a coping response when the child lacks the interpersonal skills to resolve conflict but feels compelled to act expressively and in an unrestricted manner. In Chapter Four it was suggested that this is characteristic of children with a Dionysian sensation-type temperament (Jung, 1923). 155 Here a relationship to temperament relationship is suggested. These children score high on both Activity and Emotionality. (c) Boys within this cluster who score lower than the mean for their age on Emotionality express scripts that reveal more passive means to attain their needs. In the previous section the connection made by Button (1996) between passive-aggressive behavior and shame was noted. This non-social behavior is more likely to be rejected in the outer, social world at school. Since these children also demonstrate high scores on the Sociability dimension, they may be less cognizant of others' feelings and, as a consequence, more likely to be rejected. Consequently, it is not only the pattern of passivity that boys learn but also the rejection that may follow as a consequence, that contributes to the perpetuation of abuse by boys who witness it. Erskine (1994) describes shame as a complex process involving (i) a disavowal and retroflection of anger, (ii) sadness at not being accepted as one is, (iii) fear of rejection because of who one is, and (iv) confluence and compliance with humiliation. While B7, to take one example, does not express shame in his stories, his high Sociability and Activity generate poor social skills exhibited as distracting behavior and passive-aggressiveness. Further, a father who batters is more likely to use humiliation as a means of discipline. Together, the factors increase the risk for a child witness to abuse to adopt abusive relationship patterns later in life. 156 Note the potential exists for children to experience shame if they are told to disown their anger. That suggests that well-intentioned caregivers who command such children to repress expressions of anger may increase the likelihood that they will adopt passive-aggressive patterns. Cluster 3. "The world is a dangerous place, so..." All the children within this cluster are distinguished by their high scores on the dimension of Emotionality. This is congruent with the assertion in the previous chapter that their scripts indicated Feeling dominance (Jung, 1923). The experience of fear may precede a perception of danger, even when the situation is changed and the child is no longer in a vulnerable position. The five subgroups identified within this cluster differ on the basis of their Sociability and Activity scores (see Figures 5 and 6). Subgroups 3(a)"...get help"/3(b)"...you will feel sad": First, those low on both the Sociability and Activity temperaments respond to the dangerous world either by feeling sad and pessimistic or by getting help. These are two very different responses for one temperamental cluster to exhibit. The distinction, suggested in the previous chapter, is one of gender. Girls who have been socialized to seek help experience a higher sense of communion and consequently are more likely to persevere. Boys, encouraged to be independent, are less likely to seek the assistance of others. This exemplifies among children high in Emotionality how communion can be a prerequisite to self- efficacy. 157 Higli Emotionality GIO: "...gef/ie/p"WrrHDRAWN(ll) G4: "...gef/ie/;»"ANGRY CHILD(13) B5: "... you will feel sad" WITHDRAWN/FEARFUL (9) B2: " ...you will feel sad" FEELING (16) Low Activity- •B13: "...ge</ie/p"LEADER(19)- -Higli Activity B6: "... you will feel sad" FEELING CHILD (17) Low Emotionality Figure 5: Cluster 3* Subgroups (a) and (b) Showing Group Behavior and Temperament (Sociability in parentheses) *Cluster 3: children who share the life script, "The World is a Dangerous Place So...". Subgroups are differentiated by the conclusion to this script indicated in italics. Next three subgroups of children are considered within this cluster of children who, in contrast to the first two, score at the mean or higher on Sociability and Activity. A child who is highly emotional and highly active might experience great anxiety in a home of domestic violence. Consequently, this subgroup is highly at-risk in terms of temperamental disposition. 158 How does a child cope when his or her behavior, acting in response to an internal need or impulse, directly puts that child at risk of being emotionally traumatized? Contact with the world occurs through three interactional systems; affect, behavior, and cognition. When that contact creates distress, the following cases suggest, the least dominant system adjusts in order to abate the tension. Subgroup 3.(c) "...get away and hide" These two children (B8 and G9) scored above the mean Emotionality but low to mean on Activity. The hero's disappearance, evident in their narrative, reflects this priority. Recall that Activity scores indicate the need to act to reduce tension. In homes of domestic violence, the child may feel incapable of following this preference. Note that the lower Sociability and Activity scores of G9, who exhibits withdrawn behavior, overlap perhaps the previous subgroup 3(b), whereas the moderate scores of B8 on these dimensions are associated with a more outward- directed affect (anger), suggesting that the delineation of subgroups more accurately reflects a continuum. Subgroup 3.(d) "...you'll get hurt": This boy (B14) scored high on Activity and Sociability, suggesting that he is not inclined to stop acting overtly to reduce his conflict with others. His score is closer to the mean on Emotionality so affect may be less dominant than behavior and cognition. Consequently, his adjustment involves an emotional numbing or reduction in affective response. The acceptance of physical pain appears to have displaced emotional distress. 159 Subgroup 3.(e) "...don't worry, it will get better and you will feel happy then": These two children (G6 and B4) scored high on all three dimensions, though slightly less on Sociability. If a child experiences others as dangerous, due to a high degree of emotional sensitivity or reactivity, but is temperamentally compelled to contact due to a high activity level, there may be few options but to ^check out.' This could explain their distracting behavior. The conflict in their stories resolve magically, demonstrating how a child can repress awareness as a coping response to an affective experience (fear) and a behavior (high activity level). High Emotionality B8: "...get away and hide " G6: "...don't worry, it will get better and ANGRY CHILD (18) you will feel happy then " DISTRACTING (17) G9: "...get away and hide" WITHDRAWN (7) Low Activity- B4: "...don't worry, it will get better and you will feel happy then " DISTRACTING (21) -High Activity B14: "...you 'II get hurt" FAILED LEADER (25) Low Emotionality Figure 6: Cluster 3* Subgroups (c), (d) and (e) Showing Group Behavior and Temperament (Sociability in parentheses) *Cluster 3: children who share the life script, is a Dangerous Place So...". T̂he World 160 Figure 6 plots the scores of children in these last three subgroups. A conclusion based upon any of these small clusters (n=l to 2) independently is only speculative, but in combination with the first two subgroups within this cluster (n= 11) form a pattern from which the following tentative hypotheses are drawn. The tentative hypothesis regarding children who have witnessed violence and see the world as a dangerous place, therefore, can be summarized as follows: (a) Children who have witnessed domestic violence and score higher than the mean for their age group on the temperament of Emotionality are more likely to have life scripts which depict the world to be a dangerous place. Among this group; (b) Boys who also score lower than mean on Activity and Sociability may have life scripts that express a feeling of despair. (c) Girls who also score lower than mean on Activity and Sociability may have life scripts that suggest one go to others for help. (d) Children who score high on Emotionality and Sociability but closer to the mean on Activity are more inclined to express a need to retreat and hide. Affect ranges from fearfulness associated with lower Activity to anger associated with higher Activity. (e) Children who score close to the mean on the measure for Emotionality but high for Sociability and Activity are more likely to numb or displace their emotional response. 161 (f) Children who score high on Emotionality, Activity and Sociability may fantasize about magical resolutions and engage in behavior which distracts attention from the conflict for the present. Implications It is evident that children's adjustment and styles of coping with domestic abuse vary according to temperament. This helps the therapist to recognize their individual needs and respond with more appropriate interventions. What are the implications for existing theories on child adjustment? In the remainder of this chapter, the theories and major findings cited in Chapter Two are reviewed to determine the implications of these findings. Implications for the Cycle of Violence Hypothesis The Cycle-of-Violence Hypothesis proposes that aggression in the home provides both a model for learning aggressive behavior and an environment that supports the practice of such behavior. This cognitive-behavioral perspective stresses how modeling of aggressive styles of managing conflict can influence a child's cognitive schema. For instance, Fincham, Grych, and Osborne (1994) suggest that externalizing behavior may be modeled to children who witness parents resolve conflict through attempts to control, intimidation, and domination. One boy (B7) in this study, for example, has learned that when his father is aggressive, his mother will apologize and the father wins. This interpretation rewards an inappropriate 162 behavior and consequently the child has adopted that pattern in his own relationships. In addition, the threat of violence and fear of harm to one or both parents may challenge the child's ability to regulate emotion, often resulting in externalizing (impulsiveness and aggression) or internalizing behavior (anxiety and depression). This is evident in the narrative of another boy (B8) who resorts to the behavior observed at home because another need, the reduction of anxiety, has primacy and he lacks a knowledge of alternative coping responses. The stories of B7 and B8 provide two examples of this nature of behavioral learning. Their cases illustrate reciprocal determinism, where factors in the environment such as rewards and punishments support internal beliefs to reinforce observational learning (Bandura, 1977) . These lessons are not learned only by boys. Note the predominance of fear as a motive for girls in Cluster 1 who are model children. In the cycle-of-abuse, a woman's fear can fuel the anger of the batterer (Button, 1996) who is projecting his own shame onto her as justification for his abusive behavior. For contrast, several boys in Cluster 3 have a similar temperament and feel sadness, but not fear. A more powerful impression is made on girls witnessing their mothers, with whom they identify, expressing fear and being assaulted. These examples, therefore, provide evidence of behavioral learning which supports the intergenerational Cycle-of-Violence Hypothesis. 163 Implications for the Family Disruption Hypothesis The Family Disruption Hypothesis, alternatively, suggests that exposure to family violence also has a second, indirect effect upon childhood development (Jaffe, Wolfe, & Wilson, 1990). The child's coping style is seen as an attempt to control the violence within the family system in the absence of consistent, effective child parenting. For example, it was noted in Chapter Four that several children in this sample were taking responsibility for parenting (Gl, B3, B5). Clarke and Dawson (1989) suggest that nurturance and structure are both needed in the home environment for children to thrive. The life scripts of many participants also reveal a scarcity of nurturance (G5, B2) and structure (G4, BIO, B14). Different needs are impacted because children differ in how they appraise the violence (Pearce & Pezzot-Pearce, 1994) . Some infer self-blame and feel helpless, leading to low self-esteem, particularly when they are abused themselves or identify with the recipient of the abuse leading to negative models of self and other. They may expect similar relationship patterns and impose their internal working model on a variety of significant others, including teachers, foster parents, peers, and therapists. According to Thiessen (1993), the self-schema is an internal working model of the self, built from observations including what parents and caregivers say to the child about him- or herself, how the parents treat each other, and how the child observes teachers and caregivers treating other children. 164 Semantically, people organize meaning around two motives, the striving for self-enhancement, including self- maintenance and self-expansion, and the longing for contact and union with the other, including the surrounding world (Hermans, Rijks,& Kempen, 1993). Within a narrative perspective, it was suggested in Chapter Two, these motives of power and intimacy are central to themes of agency and communion, respectively (McAdams, 1993). A child's agency is influenced by the degree of structure in the home, providing the training wheels, in effect, for him or her to learn and master new abilities. In the abusive home, structure can either be too rigid or non-existent (Clarke & Dawson, 1989) . Nurturance, similarly, is needed to foster the child's growing sense of communion and may be lacking when mother's own needs go unmet. The indirect influence of domestic violence upon children through the family system is evident, therefore. In particular, children's perceptions of their own efficacy and the support they anticipate from their family can be diminished, influenced to a degree by their temperamental disposition, in the absence of consistent, effective child parenting. Their behavior can be viewed consequently as a response to the lack of adequate structure and nurturance. 165 Implications for Attachment Theory Theorists have also attempted to explain the developmental impact of family violence upon their primary attachment relationships (Carlson, Cicchetti, Barnett, & Braunwald, 1989; Cicchetti & Barnett, 1991; Crittenden, 1992). Children develop internal working models of relationships that can be significantly influenced by their observations of how parents treat them and each other. These and other developmental perspectives can all be examined in light of the themes identified within this study. Buss and Plomin (1984) hypothesize an interaction between temperament and attachment. Together, Emotionality and Sociability influence the mother-infant attachment bond. The sociable (moderate Sociability) child welcomes the opportunity to play with others and is able to reference his approach from their response but also take initiative with them to meet his own needs. This is characteristic of the securely-attached infant. So too is the ability to express emotional distress when needed to bring attention to oneself and then be soothed when responded to and continue to play. Could temperament play an intermediary role? Bates (1989) confirmed that while differences do not appear in temperament between securely attached infants, insecure attachment categories may be correlated to temperament. Infants who are temperamentally prone to fear and distress, both aspects of Emotionality as defined by Buss and Plomin, are more likely to demonstrate resistant behavior. They are likely to be emotional, fearful when their mother leaves and angry with her when she returns (Buss & Plomin, 1984). 166 Avoidant infants, alternatively, are likely to be unsociable, play less with a stranger and show less interest in mother when she returns. With implications for families in conflict, Belsky, Fish, and Isabella (1991) found that change in temperament occurring between 3 and 9 months of age to lower levels of negative emotionality and higher levels of positive emotionality, previously assumed to reflect mere measurement error, in fact were more likely when parents were psychologically healthier and interparent relationships were more positive. High negative emotionality and low positive emotionality at 12 months was, in turn, associated with insecure attachment behavior classification. Recall from the discussion of affect that the proportion of positive versus negative affective words was negatively related to Activity. Indeed, lower Activity scores within one standard deviation of the mean of the comparison group, was predictive in the sample of higher attachment behavior. Consequently, a moderate rather than extreme temperamental disposition is a prerequisite to the establishment of a secure base, with a greater likelihood of secure attachment among those children scoring somewhat less than the mean for their age group on Activity. These findings are consistent with Buss and Plomin's (1984) assertion that healthy Emotionality must be adequate to signal distress, but not so excessive that the infant cannot be calmed, and that Sociability be adequate to internalize the mother's secure base and act independently. Of course, an insecure base may influence the child's 167 behavior and higher temperamental scores may be an indication of distress. It will be revealing to compare the temperament associated with insecure attachments. A family environment in which abuse occurs would not appear to be conducive to healthy attachment. Although research on the impact of domestic violence upon attachment was not found, Belsky and Nezworski (1988) concluded that the proportion of securely attached children decreases substantially from norms of over 65 percent established in earlier research to 10 percent in families where physical or sexual abuse is known to have occurred. Studies of maltreated children in general confirm that they are more likely to develop insecure attachments (Cicchetti & Barnett, 1991; Carlson, Cicchetti, Harnett, & Braunwald, 1989). Studies on attachment have focused primarily on infancy and, more recently, adulthood. This study does not include an objective measure for attachment in childhood. However, the investigation does include subjective observations which illuminate the impact of witnessing violence and the intermediary role of temperament. In this study, s'everal children behaved in a manner indicative of secure attachment, interpreted by the child's ability to build trust over a series of groups and take initiative from that place of trust once established. Children clustered closer to mean scores on all three temperamental dimensions, such as B3, B13,G3, and G5, were more likely to be leaders, confident, secure in group participation, and self-directed. 168 Bolwby (1979) suggests avoidant attachment is exhibited as denial of caring, engaging in distracting behavior, or watchfulness and inhibition. Some of the boys in Cluster 2 whose heroes distract or act passive- aggressively express this behavior as do the children in Cluster 3, subgroups (c),(d), and (e) who stories reveal a desire to avoid, deny, or distract. In contrast, the anxious or ambivalently attached child has greater difficulty being comforted. This characteristic is found among those children in this sample whose narratives suggest a motivation of fear, including all but two children in Cluster 1 who behave in a model fashion or withdraw, in addition to those in Cluster 3, subgroups (a) and (b) who see the world as a dangerous place and withdraw but express fear or anger. If temperamental disposition is stable and endearing throughout development from infancy into middle childhood, then these findings suggest that high Activity is longitudinally related to resistant-avoidant attachment style and low Activity is similarly related to an anxious- ambivalent style. The high Activity and Emotionality scores assessed for one girl (G6) may help explain the disorganized attachment style. Her behavior in group is often distressed (anxious) and both her interactional style and stories reveal a reliance upon fantasy (insecure- resistant) to avoid it. What are the implications of disruptions to attachment to this population? Bowlby (1979) identified the need for the individual lacking in attachment to mourn the lack of nurturance enabling him or her to move beyond the role of 169 mourner. This is a necessary rite-of-passage yet difficult for a child still needing support. The group facilitator can help, discussing different types of families to help normalize the child's experience so he or she can internalize a new self-image, child of a single mother. Can storytelling be used to evaluate attachment? Children's stories reveal the themes of attachment, trust, and autonomy which, these observations suggest, characterize their ability to establish a healthy relationship with the group facilitator. Yet the validity of the child-facilitator relationship as an indicator of attachment has not been established. Corroborative research is needed to test the longitudinal stability of these attachment styles and compare the child's attachment to his or her caregiver with the relationship they establish with a group facilitator. Indications of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder The analysis of witnessing violence in the home of a child would not be complete if the potential for Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was not discussed. Van der Kolk and Fisler (1993) define PTSD as a condition in which an individual's response to an overwhelming experience is characterized by continuous autonomic arousal. Their bodies continue to react as if there were a continuing threat. In Chapter Two it was noted that Buss and Plomin (1984) describe Emotionality as a measure of active sympathetic, autonomic nervous system arousal. 170 The high scores on this dimension of many children in this study, therefore, may be indicators of PTSD response to domestic abuse. The analysis of Cluster 3 revealed that children who scored high on the temperamental dimension of Emotionality and expressed a life script that the world is a dangerous place were likely to perceive danger continuing even after circumstances changed and the child was safe. Again, children's storytelling proves to be a valuable assessment technique. Traumatic distress requires consistent and long term intervention (Jaffe, Wolfe, & Wilson, 1990) . While the group will likely provide the child with an important normalizing experience where she or he can begin to regain a sense of control, ten weeks of facilitated activities will likely not be adequate for this child. The counsellor will need to consider ongoing individual treatment and possible referral to outside resources. Implications Regarding the Role of Other Variables Other variables that were identified in the earlier literature will now be revisited. Each was noted to have a significant impact upon children's adjustment to witnessing violence, although in some cases attempts to replicate these findings produced contradictory results. With the preceding analysis of the children's internal representational models and the intermediating role of temperament, perhaps some light can be shed on the internal processes involved. 171 Gender: Are boys more likely to demonstrate externalizing problem behaviors and girls internalizing problem behaviors as early research suggested? If so, are those differences more evident with older children than younger children, as Cummings, Davies, and Simpson (1994) concluded? In Chapter Four it was suggested that gender differences could be recognized in the life scripts of approximately 60% of this sample (15 out of 25 forced-choice match attempts). Now temperament can be included as a mediating variable and this result re-examined. Figures 7 and 8 provide a comparison of temperamental scores of the boys and girls in this sample, respectively. There does appear to be a high correlation for boys to high Emotionality and/or high Activity and girls to low Activity. The greatest overlap appears for children high in Emotionality and low in Activity. The stereotypical patterns are considered first. Boys engaged in externalizing behaviors like those in Cluster 2 (Bl,B7,B9,B10, B12, and B15) all demonstrate low Emotionality and high Activity and Sociability and share life scripts that focus on control, the impulse to satisfy their own desire. The discussion of the Cycle-of-Violence Hypothesis suggested that this was the result of observational learning. Note also the correlation to an anxious-ambivalent pattern of attachment. 172 Higli Emotionality B8: ANGRY CHILD/AGE 10 (18) B5: WITHDRAWN-FEARFUL/AGE 12 (9) B2: FEELING/AGE 9 (16) B3: CONFIDENT LEADER/ AGE 9 (18) LowActivity-Bll:WrrHDRAWN/-B13:LEADER/ AGE 10(15) AGE 11 (19) B9: DISTRACTING/AGE 7 (23) BIO: LEADER/AGE 9 (23) B4: DISTRACTING/AGE 10 (21) Bl: HYPERACTIVE/AGE 7 (20) -Higli Activity • B6: FEELING CHILD/- AGE 11 (17) B7: DISTRACTING/AGE 9 (21) B14: FAILED LEADER/ AGE 12 (25) B12:POWER OVER/ AGE 8 (21) B15: MODEL CHILD/AGE 7 (25) Low Emotionality Figure 7: Boys, Showing Group Behavior, Age and Temperament (Sociability in parentheses) GIO: WITHDRAWN/AGE 8 (11) G4: ANGRY CHILD/ AGE 10(13) G8: WITHDRAWN/ G7: WITHDRAWN/ AGE 10(11) AGE 9 (18) G9: WITHDRAWN/AGE 7 (7) G3: MODEL CHILD/ AGE 8 (20) Low Activity Higli Emotionality G5: LEADER/AGE 10 (23) G2: MODEL CHILD/ AGE 11 (16) Gl: MODEL CHILD/AGE 9 (17) Low Emotionality Figure 8:Gir ls , Showing Group Behavior, Age and Temperament (Sociabi l i ty in parentheses) G6: DISTRACTING/ AGE 10 (17) -High Activity 173 Secondly, internalizing behavior is a feature of most of the girls in this study. Only two out of ten had higher than mean scores on either Activity or Sociability. All of the seven who scored below mean on both of these dimensions were included in Cluster 1, "Figure out how to solve the problem," or Cluster 3, "The world is a dangerous place, so...", subgroup (a)"... get help" or {c)"...get away and hide." A common theme is the motive of fear. Then, however, exceptions are found to the stereotype which confirm that temperamental influence can be more powerful than either social expectations or observational learnings. Several boys, for instance, exhibit internalizing behavior either fear-based (Bll) or dominated by sadness (B2,B5,B6). Note also G6 who likely is not inclined to internalize and distracts to avoid the emotional impact of an abusive home environment. There is also a population of boys and girls within Cluster 1 (B3 and G5), Cluster 2 (BIO), and Cluster 3 (B13) who exhibit both agentic behavior and sensitivity to others. The common theme to each of their scripts (see Table 5) is a recognition of interdependency or the need for communion. Considering the overall low level of communion expressed in the stories of children in this study, this may be a significant finding. The findings of Cummings, Davies, and Simpson(1994) that gender differences are more evident in older children is not confirmed in this analysis. There appear to be as many children with problem behavior in the stereotypical 174 patterns discussed above who are in the youngest age cohort as older. It may be, however, that the effect of socialization is observed at an age younger than this study has sampled. So gender differences appear in children's adjustment to witnessing domestic abuse differentially according to temperament but not age within the sample population. Boys scoring high on Activity are more inclined to adopt externalizing coping behavior and relate stories focusing on control and attainment of wants, while girls scoring low on Activity are more inclined to adopt internalizing coping behavior and express narrative themes of fear. Other children, however, do not fit this characterization. Among this sample, boys with higher scores of Emotionality, confirmed by narratives high in affective content, are more likely to internalize and girls high in Activity, whose narrative reveal a reliance upon fantasy, are more likely to externalize. Finally, some children of both genders reveal a recognition of the need for support in their narratives and behave consistent with both agentic and communal motives. Short- versus Long-Term Differences; Spaccarelli, Sandler, and Roosa (1994) suggested that adjustment difficulties in children may be overestimated because impact is greater in the short-term. The stories of children who have been separated short term (under two years) are compared to those separated longer (over two years) to assess this difference (see Figures 9 and 10). 175 Contrary to expectations a greater deviation from the mean on temperament scores is discovered in the long term group. Many of the children who appear behaviorally to be coping well are in the short-term group. Referring to Table 5, the scripts of the long-term group appear to be as distressed, if not moreso, than the short-term group. All these finding run counter to the position cited by Spaccarelli, Sandler, and Roosa (1994) and to the intuitive Jungian tenet that a child's self-healing archetype will be activated over time and healing more likely, even without therapeutic intervention. One likely explanation, however, is that a selection bias has been introduced into the study by relying on children referred to the CWWA program. Two subgroups typically exist. First, many families who have recently separated as a consequence of domestic violence are referred by transition house staff, the courts or social workers. This group would be fairly diverse. Secondly, however, are families who have been removed from the abusive situation for many years. Why would they now turn to counselling? A common reason is that children are now exhibiting behavioral problems and their caregivers have sought assistance. Consequently, the long term group may not be truly representative but rather biased to demonstrate a higher incidence of problem behavior. So while the short versus long term consequences of witnessing violence upon children cannot be compared within this sample, it does provide evidence that in some cases the impact is long term and in need of intervention. 176 High Emotionality B2: FEELING (16) G7: WrrHDRAWN(18) B3: CONFIDENT(18) G9: WrrHDRAWN(7) G3: MODEL CHILD (20) Low Activity- BIO: LEADER (1.5) B4:DISTRACTING(21) Bl: HYPERACTIVE (20) -High Activity F i g u r e 9: B7: DISTRACTING (21) G5: LEADER (23) Low Emotionality P a r t i c i p a n t s L e s s t h a n Two Y e a r s s i n c e S e p a r a t i o n S h o w i n g G r o u p B e h a v i o r a n d T e m p e r a m e n t ( S o c i a b i l i t y i n p a r e n t h e s e s ) GIO: WrrHDRAWN(ll) B5: WITHDRAWN -FEARFUL (9) G8:WrraDRAWN(ll) High Emotionality B8: ANGRY CHILD (18) G4: ANGRY CHILD( 13) Low Activity-B11:WITHDRAWN(15)—B13:LEADER(19> B6: FEELING CHILD(17) High Activity G2: MODEL CHILD(16) B9: DISTRACTING(23) B14: FAILED LEADER(25) B12: POWER OVER(21) B15: MODEL CHILD (25) Gl: MODEL CHILD( 17) Low Emotionality Figure 10:Participants Two Years or More since Separation Showing Group Behavior and Temperament (Sociability in parentheses) 177 Difference of Being in a Shelter; Spaccarelli, Sandler, and Roosa (1994) similarly raised the question of whether or not the experience of fleeing to a shelter may impact a child's adjustment. Among the 25 participants in this study, 10 children did move into a transition house at the time of separation (see Table 4). A variation evident in Figure 13 is that all the children who spent time in a transition shelter were scored at or above the mean on the dimension of Emotionality. Tearfulness, in fact, is evident as a theme in the stories of all three girls in the shelter group and four of the seven boys. Among the other boys, one expresses confidence his hero can overcome difficulties, another is motivated to have power, and the third is narrates stories seeking revenge. A recurring theme (G8,G9,G10,B3) is that the difficulty must be endured and will eventually be overcome. High Emotionality GIO: WITHDRAWN (11) B8: ANGRY CHILD (18) B5: WITHDRAWN -FEARFUL (9) G8: WITHDRAWN (11) B3: CONFIDENT G9: WITHDRAWN (7) LEADER (18) BIO: LEADER (23) B4: DISTRACTING (21) Low Activity- Bl 1: WITHDRAWN (15) B6: FEELING CHILD (17) High Activity Low Emotionality Figure 11:Participants Living in Shelter during Transition Showing Group Behavior and Temperament (Sociability in parentheses) 178 Thus, while children who are temporarily sheltered at a transition house may have a higher expression of anxiety, their narratives also reveal a resiliency. Many learn from the experience to face life's difficulties head on. Family Constellation: In Chapter Four, the individual stories were presented in the order of family constellation, beginning with only children, then moving from eldest child to middle child and finally the youngest. This highlighted similarities between, for example, the imports of girls who were the eldest child. Now, with the consideration of temperament to account for the differential effect, the influence of family position is re-examined and themes common to each constellation are noted. Adler (1930) suggested that children have two motives, superiority and social feeling, not unlike the motives of agency and communion earlier considered. Adler proposed, further, that these motives were influenced by the child's position within the family. The eldest is in a position of responsibility that allows him or her to achieve superiority and adopt the values of the parents. Consequently the eldest child is more likely to be either a leader or discouraged leaders, should he or she fail at this task. The second child, then, must find another path to superiority and if discouraged can become the black sheep of the family. 179 The implications of this paradigm are noteworthy in the family of domestic abuse. Here, boundaries are often confused and the eldest child may respond to the needs of the battered spouse by serving the role of surrogate partner and protector of the mother. The family values power and control and the discouraged second child, hypothetically, may be more likely to introject the discouraged or shamed negative role, identifying with the abusive parent. Is this conjecture borne out? Figures 12, 13, 14, and 15 indicate the temperament and group behavior noted for youngest, middle, eldest, and only children, respectively. These will be discussed in turn. The youngest child (Figure 15) indeed shows a greater disposition to high Activity, engaging in angry or distracting behavior in group. Again, the lack of girls in the within this family position is a regret - all the youngest children included in this study are boys. Their scripts include themes of passive-aggressive control (B7), retaliation (B9), and a determination to get what you want or need (B8,B10,B12). In a family of abuse, a pecking order may exist. Recall also that motivation is one of the prerequisites to observational learning, proposed by Bandura (1977). The youngest child to witness domestic abuse, therefore, has the least power and is more motivated by inferiority to learn methods of control and domination. 180 High Emotionality B8: ANGRY CHILD (18) Low Activity- Higli Activity B7: DISTRACTING (21) B12: POWER OVER (21) Low Emotionality Figure 12:Participant's Family Position - Youngest Child Showing Group Behavior and Temperament (Sociability in parentheses) B9: DISTRACTING (23) BIO: LEADER (23) GIO: WITHDRAWN (11) High Emotionality Low Activity-Bll: WITHDRAWN (15)- -High Activity B14: FAILED LEADER (25) B15: MODEL CHILD (25) Low Emotionality Figure 13:Participant's Family Position - Middle Child Showing Group Behavior and Temperament (Sociability in parentheses) 181 The temperament scores of the middle child (Figure 13) are bimodal. Within this sample these children either score high in Emotionality and low in Activity, or high in Activity and low in Emotionality. Corresponding to this polarity behavior is noted to be either clingy and withdrawn or anxious and defeated. A common theme to the scripts of these children, produced in Table 5, is a lack of agency. Either there is a fear they can't make friends on their own merit (G10,B11) or the world is out of control (B14,B15). These represent two possible expressions of the discouraged middle child, reflecting high and low Emotionality, respectively. The eldest children, shown in Figure 14, demonstrate a trimodal distribution. First there are children (G5,B3,B6, B13) whose temperament scores are clustered close to the mean. Here are most of the leaders in group (the one exception being BIO who is a youngest child). Perhaps having an agentic role to play when the family is in crisis affords these children with an alternative to feelings of despair. They demonstrate competence and leadership in group indicative of their coping strategy at home. Their scripts are highly agentic and communal, demonstrating a desire to solve the problem or find help. Children who fail as the eldest to be responsible in this fashion fall into two groups. One group appears to withdraw, motivated by fear (G4,G8,G9,B5) and their scripts are low in communion. The third group of eldest children (B4,G6) respond to the dangerous world with distracting behavior, relying on fantasy. Their scripts lack agency. 182 B5: WITHDRAWN -FEARFUL (9) Higli Emotionality G4: ANGRY CHILD (13) . 06: DISTRACTING (17) G8: WITHDRAWN (11) G7: WITHDRAWN (18) B3:CONFIDENT(18) G9: WITHDRAWN (7) Low Activity- B4: DISTRACTING (21) -B13:LEADER (19) 36: FEELING CHILD (17) High Activity G5: LEADER (23) Low Emotionality Figure 14:Participant's Family Position - Eldest Child Showing Group Behavior and Temperament (Sociability in parentheses) High Emotionality B2: FEELING (16) G3: MODEL CHILD (20) Low Activity- Bl: HYPERACTIVE (20) -High Activity G2: MODEL CHILD (16) Gl: MODEL CmLD (17) Low Emotionality Figure 15 :Pa r t i c ipan t ' s Family Posit ion - Only Child Showing Group Behavior and Temperament (Sociabi l i ty in parentheses) 183 Finally, Figure 15 indicates that a distinctive pressure exists within a violent home on the child with no siblings to behave in a model way. With one exception these children (G1,G2,G3,B2) learn the rules and take on the responsibility to make things better. Supporting the Family Disruption Hypothesis, only children may be triangulated more easily into their parents' conflict and take the role of appeasing the batterer by fixing things at home. The exception (Bl) has a high score of Activity and engages in hyperactive behavior. Keep going, his script suggests, and you will feel better. A child temperamentally active needs to take action to abate tension and simply cannot play a quiet, appeasing role. The scripts found in children's stories, therefore, lend support to Adler's theory of motivation and family position, subject to certain temperamental considerations. Perhaps the most surprising observation of all is the extent to which temperament scores appear to vary according to family constellation. Temperament is thought to represent rigorous traits that endure from infancy into childhood and help to shape the personality. Recall from Chapter Two, though, that developmental theorists argue for an interactional model in which the influence of heredity and environment are reciprocal. The findings here corroborate such an explanation. Under stress, childhood development gives in one direction and moves in another to reduce tension and regulate emotion. Exceptions to the norms noted above, such as Bl, indicate that temperament is not entirely malleable and opposite reactions can sometimes be found. 184 Ongoing Contact with Abusive Parent: No temperamental differences appear to exist between children who have ongoing contact with the abusive parent and those who have no contact. The life scripts uncovered in their stories (see Table 5), however, reveal important distinctions. Out of eleven children who have regular (weekly) contact with the abusive parent, the theme of abandonment occurs in five cases. "Someone you love won't leave if you agree with them" (G3), "You must do well to keep others happy "(G5), "Loved ones leave you and you can't do anything but feel sad" (B2), "You can't count on others for help..." (B7), and "You're not safe and no one will help you..." (B14) are all examples. Regular contact appears to be heightening the child's awareness of the loss of family. As discussed earlier, the role of the counsellor is to help the child express this and create a new definition of family. In contrast, five of the seven children who have no contact with the abusive parent express themes of resiliency in their narratives. Examples include "The world is a scary place, but eventually it will change and you will be happy" (G6), "Painful things must be dealt with before you will feel better" (G8), "Problems eventually go away and things get settled" (B4), "To succeed you must persevere" (B12), and "If you are in trouble you will be able to find help if you look hard enough" (B13). 185 So those children in this sample who have no further contact with the abusive parent have adjusted and express a higher optimism than children with regular ongoing contact. Of course, this may be indicative of the severity of the abuse, which Fantuzzo, DePaola, Lambert, Martino, Anderson, and Sutton (1991) identified as one factor that compounded the impact of witnessing violence. The greater the severity of abuse, the greater the likelihood that the batterer would be prohibited from ongoing contact. It was also revealing to examine the scripts of children who have occasional contact with the abusive spouse. All three boys (B1,B5,B8) have scripts which reference emotion and all three girls (G1,G7,G10) have scripts which emphasize rules needed to maintain relationships. At the risk of overgeneralizing from a small sample, it is suggested that these children live under a constant fear of losing their parent. It is the tenuous nature of the contact that is most distressful. Other Previous or Concurrent Counselling: One notable finding in this analysis is the beneficial effect of counselling upon children. Comparing the group behavior of children who had prior or concurrent individual counselling to those who had no other assistance, more leaders were found in the former (G5,B3,BIO,B13). Their stories provide a greater expression of negative emotionality such as fearfulness (G8,G9,B2,B5) and anger (B8). In the latter (non-counselled) group are children who behave in a model way based upon fear as well as many who distract to avoid difficult issues (G1,G2,G3). 186 Parents Use of Drugs and Alcohol: Children whose parents were reported to abuse drugs or alcohol scored lower on Emotionality (see Figure 16). This temperamental distinction is pronounced. The presence of drug and alcohol abuse by parents appears to have a major impact upon children. This is in accord with a finding by Spaccarelli, Sandler, and Roosa (1994) that mothers alcoholism was correlated with the daughters' depression. In this study, the scripts of all the children where drug and alcohol abuse was reported included some measure of regaining control, including knowing the rules and finding ways to appease others among girls and defiant independence despite a lack of communion among boys. The world is unpredictable and both B14 and B15 appear overwhelmed by it. High Emotionality Bl: HYPERACTIVE (20) Low Activity-Bl 1: WITHDRAWN (15)-B13:LEADER (19)— B6: FEELING CHILD (17) Higli Activity B14: FAILED LEADER (25) B12: POWER OVER (21) B15: MODEL CHILD (25) Gl: MODEL CHILD (17) Low Emotionality Figure 16:Participants Parents Drug/Alcohol Abuse Reported Showing Group Behavior and Temperament (Sociability in parentheses) 187 Direct Physical, Verbal or Sexual Abuse of the Child: Finally, the impact of abuse directed at children directly is considered. Recall from the discussion earlier this chapter that abuse within families impacts upon a child's attachment style. Crittenden (1992) studied the play of children between one and four years of age and found that abused children developed compliant and cooperative behavior with their caregiver and more frequently were aggressing or being aggressed upon in play with siblings. Children neglected but not abused were the most passive with their mothers and more isolating during free play. Marginally maltreated children were generally cooperative yet anxious and unable to play peacefully with their siblings. The greatest reciprocity, cooperation, and peaceful play was exhibited by adequately reared children. No research was found that could verify the correlation between child abuse and spousal abuse, however it could be expected to be high since both forms abuse share relational dynamics of power and control, shame, secrecy, and lack of respect of boundaries. Although screening is conducted for child abuse in the CWWA program, it is conceivable that not all cases in this sample were reported or detected. Figure 17 notes those confirmed at the intake interview. Both cases of sexual abuse (B4,B6) indicate high scores in Activity, indicative of a need to act to reduce their distress. One resorts to fantasy and is distractive in group. The other, however, is so discouraged from this invasion of his personal boundary that he is resigned to his negative feelings. 188 These two children aid in the understanding of the motives of children who have been abused (Crittenden,1992). Aggressing upon peers is not the intent of the expressive child (B4) as much as acting to alleviate distress. The other (B6), who is aggressed upon, is without self- efficacy. Two neglected children (B5,G7) exhibit a withdrawn behavior congruent with the passive and isolated play of neglected children predicted by Crittenden (1992). The script of the boy, scoring higher on Emotionality, is centered upon negative affect whereas the girl seeks to understand the rules that will increase her social contact. Note also that her Sociability score is at the mean for her age group whereas the boy's is substantially lower. Thus, social discouragement is a factor in the low self- efficacy of neglected children. The girl demonstrates a resiliency characteristic of her temperament. High Emotionality B5: WITHDRAWN -FEARFUL (9) -neglect, physical G7: WITHDRAWN (18) -neglect LowActivity-Bll: WITHDRAWN(15)- -physical, emotional B14: FAILED LEADER (25) -physical, emotional B15: MODEL CHILD (25) -pltysical, emotional Low Emotionality Figure 17:Participants Abused Directly (Reported) Showing Group Behavior and Temperament (Sociability in parentheses,abuse in italics) G6: DISTRACTING (17) -physical, emotional B4: DISTRACTING (21) -sexual — B6: FEELING CHILD (17> Higli Activity -sexual 189 Those children who were both physically and emotionally abused demonstrated several group interactive behaviors, notably withdrawing and distracting. They were inclined to score higher on Activity, with one exception. Their scripts vary from seeking rules so that others won't be angry with you (Bll) or relying upon fantasy (G6,B15) to lack of control and safety (B14). Overall, children who have been abused are more likely to exhibit externalizing (distracting) behavior associated with high Activity or internalizing (withdrawn or fear- motivated model) behavior associated with high Emotionality. Application of the Storytelling Technique Is there any potential for harm in the use of this storytelling technique? Dunn, Brown, and Beardsall (1991) have shown that differences in how three-year-olds converse with their mothers about their feeling states, independent of their verbal ability or frequency of talk, are correlated to their ability to recognize emotions in others at age six. Developmentally, it is argued that children benefit from being able to distance from and reflect upon their emotional experiences by discussing them. Language precedes understanding. Pynoos and Nader (1993) report that symbolic play may either heighten the trauma of the traumatized child or provide relief, depending upon whether the child experiences him- or herself in control of the outcome and whether any prohibited affect can be expressed such as anger or revenge. So the procedure outlined in Chapter Three must leave control of the outcome to the child. 190 The number of children who felt secure enough in the interview to decline the third story suggests that control was left to them. For those who did agree, the imports were consistent with the first two stories and helped the interviewer better understand how these children carried their model of the world out from a home of violence into their social circle among peers. Further, there may be something to learn from the children who declined to tell a story about two parents fighting. Do they choose to declined out of emotional unease or simply fatigue from the interview? If discomfort with the task is the cause, comparison of the imports and temperamental factors may reveal its source. Figure 18 identifies these eight children. High Emotionality GIO: WITHDRAWN (11) G6: DISTRACTING (17) G7: WITHDRAWN (18) B3: LEADER (18) G9: WITHDRAWN (7) Low Activity- B9: DISTRACTING (23) Bl: HYPERACTIVE (20) -High Activity B12: POWER OVER (21) Low Emotionality Figure 18:Children Declining to Tell a Story about Two Parents Fighting Showing Group Behavior and Temperament (Sociability in parentheses) 191 With only one exception consistently high scores are noted on the dimension of Emotionality for children declining to tell a story about two parents fighting. Although this group includes children from all three of the clusters, three of the four boys were in Cluster Two ("I must get what I want") and three of the four girls were in Cluster Three ("The world is a dangerous place so..."). A recurring theme in all of their scripts is fear, and the lack of communion. One girl (B6) responded jokingly, "blah, blah", quite literally expressing her need to avoid speaking of what she had witnessed. This group of children clearly needs time to establish trust in the facilitator and it is appropriate for them to decline at this point in the interview. It is therefore important to ensure that the facilitator explain to the child that the third story is optional as recommended in Appendix E. For others who feel secure enough to continue, relief can be provided through cognitive reworking of the trauma. Crittenden (1992) agreed, identifying the need for children to integrate their internal procedural, semantic, and episodic representational cognitive models in order to cope with conflict witnessed between parents. By virtue of its sequential flow and opportunity for resolution, storytelling provides an excellent vehicle for school-aged children to work towards such an integration. This assessment, thus, provides an additional benefit to the child participant. It can provide the container or "temenos" where images, feelings, and thoughts can be projected and psychological themes unfold (Allan & Bertoia, 192 1992). The child descends into a symbolic world, experiencing first the chaos and then the struggle as the inner turmoil is enacted. Allan (1988) describes how the healing potential of the psyche becomes activated when the client symbolizes fantasy material. Through creative storytelling, therefore, reparation and healing can occur. For the benefit of the group facilitator, the stories created by the children have been found to be very illuminating of their world views and life scripts. Indeed, two of the counsellors have stated that this method of initial interview is so much more revealing of the child's perspective and less intrusive than the previous method that they have chosen to adopt this protocol for all their intake interviews with children into the program. Summary In this chapter an interactional model of temperament was utilized to examine the influence of witnessing abuse upon children. Temperament, it is proposed, is a mediator in how the child experiences and interprets the abuse witnessed. Children high in Emotionality express higher overall affective response and their stories reveal less communion. Sociability and Activity are closely related in this sample, suggesting that they use social contact to respond to the anxiety provoked by the domestic violence. Children high in Activity and Sociability are more likely to express negative affect and the heroes of their stories are more likely to be agentic. 193 The model is interactional, suggesting that the experience of witnessing abuse in turn influences the temperament score. Many participants (13 out of 25) scored more than one standard deviation from the mean of a comparison sample of non-matched children produced by another study. A proper control sample is needed to replicate this finding. Three thematic clusters were identified by the stories. Children low in Activity are more likely to have life scripts that address the search for solutions to their problems. The higher the Emotionality of children in this cluster, the greater the motivational role played by fear, whereas those with lower Emotionality scores create more agentic heroes. In the second cluster, boys high in Activity are more likely to have life scripts that are goal-oriented, seek attainment of needs with less complex plots or attention to consequence, and greater negative affect. A third cluster of children, high in Emotionality, are more likely to see the world as a dangerous place. Within this group, boys low in Activity are more likely to withdraw and feel sad and girls low in Activity are more likely to seek help. Also within this cluster, children of both gender high in Activity are motivated to distance from the perceived danger by hiding, emotionally numbing, or fantasizing it away. The processes predicted by various theoretical models have been explored. Evidence was found of observational learning to support the Cycle-of-Violence Hypothesis in boys high in Activity and girls low in Activity. As well, children who assume responsibility for their parents 194 demonstrate the indirect influence of the family system proposed by the Family Disruption Hypothesis. Two types of insecure attachment were found to be delineated along temperamental dimensions; anxious-ambivalent children scored lower on Activity whereas avoidant-resistant children scored higher on Activity. Children closer to the mean were more like to exhibit securely-attached behavior. Children high in Emotionality narrated stories revealing a perpetuation of fear symptomatic of post-traumatic stress. The influence of specific variables cited in earlier research of children who witness spouse abuse were examined. Gender differences appear according to temperament but not age. Boys scored higher on all three dimensions and girls scored lower on Activity with considerable overlap among children. However, both boys and girls with more moderate temperament scores exhibit both agentic behavior and sensitivity to others. The common theme to each of their scripts is a recognition of interdependency. A recurring theme among children who moved with their mothers into transition shelter at the time of crisis is the need to endure difficulty. Unfortunately, differences between the short and long term effect could not be identified since a dichotomy in the motive for client referral introduced an artificial effect. The scripts validated the role of family position. Youngest children, scoring higher in Activity, were more likely to engage in externalizing behaviors and express passive-aggressive or need-oriented scripts. Middle children projected less agentic motives. Eldest children 195 were more likely to be leaders in group, although children high in Activity or Emotionality were less successful and their scripts either were expressive of fear, lacking communion, or they were reliant upon fantasy, lacking agency. Children with no siblings were more likely to score low in Activity and express a need to understand the rules within their stories, similarly motivated by fear. This finding supports the proposition that siblings serve a protective function for one another in a family of violence. Children with no contact with the abusive parent related stories with more optimistic plots while those with occasional contact created heroes who were more dependent on knowing the rules needed to maintain social relationships. Children who had received other counselling were more likely to be leaders in their groups and their stories provided a greater expression of negative emotions. The scripts of children whose parents abused drugs or alcohol included themes of regaining control, expressed by girls as a need to know the rules to appease others and by boys as defiant independence. Finally, children who were themselves abused were more likely to exhibit externalizing (distracting) behavior associated with high Activity or internalizing (withdrawn or fear-motivated model) behavior associated with high Emotionality. In conclusion, many factors have been identified which impact upon the children who witness domestic abuse. Some influences can make their adjustment more difficult, yet their stories confirms the remarkable resiliency of children and their tremendous capacity for healing. 196 CHAPTER SIX LIMITATIONS AND CONCLUSIONS Summary In Chapter Five the use of storytelling as an intake assessment technique was discussed. At the intake interview, the children's story reveals what themes underlie the child's interpretation of the events in his or her life. The interviewer can learn about the child's experience with peers by soliciting stories about a boy or girl at school, and progress to story about a child at home, generating narrative themes about relationships in the family. By using the child's own drawings as stimulus for the story, it is possible to avoid researcher generated bias while providing adequate prompting for all children. More specific issues, such as the interpretation of domestic violence witnessed, can be addressed by prompting more specific stories. The considerable variety of scripts identified among the stories of participants in this study demonstrate that there is no single way in which children interpret the violence they have witnessed at home. The capacity of the storytelling technique to help each child express his or her unique representation of the world has many ramifi- cations. It may, for instance, suggest that the child is not ready to participate in group activities or that concurrent individual counselling is needed to deal with issues specific to the child. For the group as a whole, an analysis of the various imports may direct the facilitators 197 to prepare for group members' needs and anticipate the social skills they will bring to the group. There may also be issues that need to be prioritized to ensure safety is established and all members will be able to participate and enjoy their experience. Equally important is the need to recognize each members' sense of personal causation, revealed through the narrative analysis. In some instances, the use of storytelling will help the counsellor to identify issues in the child's world which are stressful. Examples could include abuse, sibling conflict, family values and norms such as the use of corporal punishment which are injurious to the child's development, or bullying at school. These can point to direct intervention by the counsellor, family counselling, filial therapy, or perhaps even a meeting with other significant individuals in the child's world such as teachers, school counsellors, and friends. Limitations Qualitative methods are best at seeking answers to the question, "What's happening?" (Borg & Gall,1989). They are especially appropriate for the development of theory and generating hypotheses. Common mistakes that this study has attempted to avoid are inadequate training of observers, observation for too short a period of time, and being influenced by preconceived expectations. Still, several limitations were noted in the course of this research. 198 Limitations Related to the Design of the Study It is not possible to shed all researcher bias. I have chosen, in this instance, to distinguish between children according to, temperament. This is based on my assumption, a priori, that differences in how children cope are not merely projections of the observer but rather valid and significant distinctions. Also, this study attempted to include many of the verifiable factors previously researched and believed to influence a child's adjustment process. Yet there certainly other valid explanatory variables which this study has not covered, other means of assessing internal represenatational models or life scripts, and alternative paradigms from which to explain coping behavior. Chandler, Shermis, and Lempert (1989), for example, proposed a need-threat binary scoring of the Children's Apperception Test, based upon Murray's needs- press motivational theory, to identify childhood stress coming from both unmet needs as well as environmental demands or threats. The mediating role of temperament, therefore, suggested by the discussion above is not exclusive. Rather, it is hoped that this study will increase the investigative validity of future research as findings converge. It is a limitation of the methodology of this study not to have separated the roles of conducting the storytelling interview, interviewing the parent, and rating the child's temperament from observations of group behavior. As a consequence, the rater's evaluation of the child's temperament may have been biased towards the information provided by the parent prior to the group and reinforced by the rater's expectation of the child's 199 behavior within the group influencing the facilitator-child interaction. In practice, this is difficult since information from the intake is germane to both counsellors' interventions in the group. An option, should funding permit, would be to bring in an independent observer of the group process among the participants to provide the rating of temperament. This would be more practicable for a case study analysis. It would also be beneficial to have two raters independently assess scores of temperament in order to test interrater reliability. The need for confirmation of reliability extends also into the import analysis of the stories. This could be conducted by two researchers who independently conduct their analysis then compare and contrast their results to arrive at a consensus. Perhaps the greatest limitation is that the findings cannot be generalized from. This is an exploratory study relying'upon a subjective analysis. It is not the intention, therefore, to prove or disprove any hypothesis, but rather to raise hypotheses for further analysis. Qualitative and quantitative research can and should work in harmony in this manner. Qualitative work looks into a study population with a curiosity, utilizing imagination and creativity to ask questions and, in Jungian terms, draw upon the intuitive mind to see the bigger picture. Quantitative work, in contrast, utilizes the sensing mind. This is the ability to refine analysis and examine the detail. Is the foundation to the theory sound and reliable? 200 Researchers are drawn to one or the other depending upon their own preferences. The demand of this profession is to embrace both in concert. Questions for investigation have been raised in this study that time and resources do not permit the scrutinization of. Consequently the reader is invited to consider this pursuit. Limitations Related to the Sample Several limitations arise in consequence of the sample. For one, a control group was not provided. This would require the interview of children who have not witnessed domestic violence to contrast their life scripts and temperament. Consequently, it is not certain whether or not the life scripts identified in this study are unique to this population of interest. This would be an important component of any follow up study to verify these findings. The sample size may also be too small to be reliable. The ages of participants were within the latency stage of development (Erikson, 1950) yet there may still be subtle differences occurring within each age cohort that will not emerge without a larger sampling. Likewise, generalizations are based upon clusters of two to four children each. These are tenuous at best and certainly require replication. It was noted in Chapter Three that the utilization of the Children Who Witness program may have introduced a selective bias into this study. It is less likely to have included women in families with high income nor the participation of visible minorities. The findings, therefore, are not generalizable to the larger population. 201 Finally, the small sample did not include any girls who were the youngest child in their family. If Adler's (1930) generalizations of eldest or only children are valid, the sample may be inadvertently biased towards the mature and responsible, and away from the distracting or withdrawn, coping responses in girls. Questions Pertaining to the Choice and Use of the Temperament Instrument (CCTI) While arguments were made in Chapter Two for the use of the Colorado Childhood Temperament Inventory to score the temperamental dimensions of Emotionality, Activity, and Sociability, the assumption of any intermediary role for temperament is not a certainty. Another limitation in this study was the use of the CCTI-Teachers' Form. Recall from Chapter Five the scores of this sample deviated from a comparison group rated by Schmitz (1994) yet it is not known how much of that variation could be attributed to the application of a classroom measurement to a smaller group. In order to verify the scores on temperament for this population it would be necessary to either, (i) obtain ratings by teachers, (ii) use the Parents' Form developed by Buss and Plomin (1984), or (iii) create normalized data of children from non-abusive families assessed following a similar group. In this study the sponsoring agencies requested that the demands upon the participants, both children and parents, be minimized and the use of the Parents' Form was, therefore, not considered. 202 Also, in the use of the temperament questionnaire by group facilitators, resources were not available to use more than one rater per child. Consequently, there is no interrater comparison provided for the temperament scores to test for observer bias. Limitations Related to the Analysis It is not possible to objectively test the validity of the hypotheses of children's life scripts from the storytelling analysis in Chapter Five. Any assessment using a projective technique is to be used with caution. Therapeutic benefit to the child is assured by keeping such interpretations tentative, continuously checking them against new information the child offers in session. Storytelling is one projective technique that can be used in concert with others. As subjective research accumulates into the study of children who witness abuse, a consensus should be available to confirm or challenge these results. Future case studies that utilize storytelling for assessment could provide valuable anecdotal feedback to address the efficacy of this particular technique. Suggestions for Further Research Quantitative Analysis The need to pursue a quantitative analysis to determine the reliability of these findings was noted within the above discussion of the limitations of the study's design. This investigation was conducted with the 203 purpose of raising hypotheses to be evaluated in future research. It relied on subjective analysis of a small sample population. The conclusions made are tentative and now need to be put to the test. Will blind surveys of the stories of children who cope with domestic violence by withdrawing consistently reveal themes such as that identified in this study? This research chose not to utilize more quantitatively verifiable children's Children's Apperception Test (Bellak & Bellak, 1975) and the Children's Apperceptive Story- Telling Test (Schneider & Perney, 1990) to avoid being limited to the paradigm underlying each. Future research, however, could be conducted utilizing those measures. Qualitative Analysis Not only are more rigorous quantitative analysis called for, but also a continuation of the qualitative study is needed. The goal of this study was to avoid a priori expectations and, rather, cast as wide as practicable a net to see what relationships and patterns emerge. The breadth of focus included stories told by the children in the sample, counsellor's observation, and scores on the temperament survey. Other measures available could be used in future research to build upon, clarify, and challenge the tentative findings proposed. For instance, the anecdotal reports of parents could be added. As noted above in the discussion of limitations, case study analysis could evaluate the validity of the tentative hypotheses created in this analysis. It would also provide a valuable analysis of the child home and 204 school environment. Art and play provide alternative projective techniques for researchers to consider. Further, the existing study could be replicated in a longitudinal analysis, creating in effect a study of serial storytelling and drawing, which Allan (1988) suggests provides insight into the healing path of the child. The Study of Temperament A control group was not created in this study. The variation in temperament scores of the sample population with a group of children who had not witnessed violence constitutes another study. Nonetheless, an impression of possible variations was suggested by comparison to the control group of another study by Schmitz (1994), hinting that scores for Emotionality in boys and all three temperamental dimensions in girls may significantly different from the control group and suggesting that witnessing domestic violence may influence a child's temperament. If verified, this finding provides more evidence to support an interactional model of temperament in childhood. This warrants further investigation and a study of temperament differences on these dimensions is recommended. As a consequence the interactive relationship between genetics and environment in the child's development may be understood. 205 Replication How do the styles of coping for the children who witness abuse differ from the broader grouping of children who have experienced the loss of a parent through separation and divorce? A comparative analysis could be conducted, replicating this study and including a control sample of children of non-abusive divorced parents. The discussion in Chapter Five suggested that storytelling revealed scripts indicating of post-traumatic stress, corroborated by higher Emotionality scores. Pynoos and Nader (1993) used a post-traumatic stress model to predict that the greatest effects on children occur when they have directly witnessed more severe acts of violence. Since this analysis did not assess the degree of violence witnessed, that question cannot be explored in this context. This study could be repeated with that intention, adding a measurement of severity of domestic violence, and re-examining the data. Other Implications In Chapter Five scripts from storytelling were used to evaluate attachment. Future research, however, is needed to confirm whether attachment style is longitudinally stable. Also, the child's behavior in group as an indicator of attachment behavior needs to be verified. Do themes of attachment, trust, and autonomy in children's stories that correlate to group behavior accurately predict a healthy attachment to their primary caregiver? 206 It was suggested in Chapter Four that passive- aggressive scripts are risk indicators for children to repeat abusive relationship patterns. A study could evaluate whether batterers relate more stories involving passive-aggressive life scripts, similar to those identified among participants in this study, and whether those scripts are positively correlated to accounts of shame experienced in childhood. This analysis may improve the understanding of the intergenerational transmission of violence. Conclusion This study has explored important distinctions in children's internal representations of the world. The analysis attempted to distinguish subtle characteristics of each individual child and explore their significance. Common themes were identified among three groups of children who witness abuse. This should be of immediate value to counsellors. The use of storytelling as an interviewing technique has been validated. The understanding of the child gained by the interviewer enhances the ability to prepare group programs for children who witness violence and guide research in the area by their theoretical implication. The cessation of violence in our society must begin in the home. The impact of domestic abuse, unacknowledged only two decades ago, now stands out as one of the greatest risk factors facing the next generation. Stories of children who are witness to it portray the strife created when their home is a model for violence in relationship. It is hoped that knowledge gained in this study will facilitate our response. 207 REFERENCES Abrams, D.M. (1993). Pathological narcissism in an eight-year-old boy: An example of Bellak's TAT and CAT diagnostic system. 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It is concerned primarily with learning more about the thoughts and feelings of children as a long term consequence of witnessing domestic abuse. This research is being conducted as part of a Master of Arts thesis in the Counselling Psychology Department at University of British Columbia. Nature of the study: With the permission of the Children Who Witness Abuse program coordinator in your area and the support of the provincial program co-ordinator, we are seeking to explore differences in how children cope to witnessing abuse. The group counsellor, therefore, will be asked to assess your child's coping style, based on observations in the group as well as her or his response to questions in the pre-group interview. Our goal is to examine the stories of children who share common coping styles and see if any common themes exist. Your child will be asked by the counsellor during a pre-group interview to create three stories. The first will be about a child at school, the second about a child at home, and the third about parents fighting. He or she will be permitted to draw pictures to help describe the story. Goal: The results of this study will be used to identify more accurately the thoughts, feelings, and consequently needs of children who participate in future groups. It will help us to evaluate our program. There have been no previous studies of this nature so this may become a valuable new resource for programs designed to help children who have witnessed abuse. 223 APPENDIX C - PARENT OR GUARDIAN PERMISSION FORM 224 Parent or Guardian Permission Form for Child's Participation I consent/1 do not consent for my child to participate in the study outlined in the research project entitled Coping with Domestic Violence: Emergent Themes in Children's Stories. This research is being conducted as part of a Master of Arts thesis in the Counselling Psychology Department at University of British Columbia and will require an interview of 20 to 30 minutes with my child (if conducted as part of the regular pre-group interview that will increase the total time of that interview to 60 to 70 minutes). I understand the purpose and methodology of this study as outlined in the Letter of Transmittal, dated August 28th, 1995. I retain the right to terminate my child's participation in this research at any point without jeopardizing my child's or my own ability to participate in any of the other services offered by the Children Who Witness Abuse program. I understand that only [counsellor's nameJWiW know the participant's names. Audiotapes of the stories told, responses to questions from the pre-group interview and observations of participants' coping behavior in the group setting will be forwarded to the researcher by [counsellor's namejand will be kept in strictest confidence and stored under lock and key. Excerpts from stories may be cited anonymously in the research report to illustrate characteristics of coping styles. The actual tapes, transcripts, and questionnaires will be destroyed (erased or shredded) once the research is complete. Custodial Parent or Legal Guardian Student Researcher Place and Date Place and Date 225 APPENDIX D - PRE-GROUP INTERVIEW QUESTIONNAIRE 226 Part A: General Information (reported by the custodial parent or legal guardian): Age: Gender: School Grade: Siblings (number, gender, and age): Length of time since the child was residentially separated from the abusive parent: Length of time, if any, spent in residence in a transition house: How recently?_ Nature of ongoing contact between the abusive parent and the child: Presence of other counselling, prior or concurrent, for the child: Any knovra physical, sexual, or emotional abuse of the child? Any known history of alcohol or drug abuse within the nuclear family? How did the child cope with the spousal abuse (what behaviors or coping style did the parent observe)? 227 APPENDIX E - STORYTELLING TECHNIQUE 228 Storvtellin2 Technique 1. An appointment is arranged with mother/caregiver and child for the usual pregroup interview. When the regular interview is complete, storytelling is introduced. Suggested explanation: "Okay, now we want to see if you can tell use a few stories for a study we're doing. I need to record this on this tape machine, but we won't tell anyone who you are. We just want to hear what types of stories children like you who come into our program tell. Do you understand?" [respond to any questions] 2. Interviewer and child, if possible, sit at table corner at 90 degree with tape recorder opposite but close enough to pick up everything said (test prior to ensure it will record low audibles). The interviewer should be able to see the child's face - keeping attention upon the picture. Do not turn tape recorder on yet. 3. The child is given (8 1/2" x 11") paper and pencil. Expaining that it is sometimes easier to tell a story when we have a picture to tell it about, the counsellor asks the child to draw a girl/boy (same gender as participant) child at school. Then child is asked to draw a second picture, this time of a girl/boy (same gender as participant) at home. 4. Tape recorder is turned on now. Child is asked to look at the first picture and tell a story to describe it. Explain that a story has a beginning, middle, and end. Prompt only if needed in order to facilitate this sequence, eg. "I see. And what happened next? Remember, a story needs to have an end. Can you think of one?" 5. Repeat step 4 with the second picture. 6. With no picture this time to work from, ask the child to tell one more story, this time of two parents fighting [this step can be omitted if the second story deals with such a scenario explicitly]. Unlike the previous two stories, however, do not prompt the child if she or he is reluctant or omits a logical connection or outcome. Make a note, or comment while the tape is recording, your observations. 7. Tape recorder is turned off now. Validate the child's efifort, courage, and storytelling competence, eg. "Yes it can be uncomfortable sometimes telling a story about bad things that happen at home. I think you're very brave..." [if applicable and appropriate or...] "You put a lot of thought into these stories..." [then] "and you've created two/three very interesting stories." Encourage the child to share any feelings he or she may have which can support and validate. End interview. 229 APPENDIX F - TEMPERAMENT SURVEY 230 Temperament Survey for Children Rate each of the items for the child on a scale of; 1 (not characteristic or typical of the child) to 5 (very characteristic of the child) If you have not had the experience of observing the child in any of the following situations, please mark, "not observed." 1. Child tends to be shy 2. When with other children, this child seems to be having a good time. 3. Child cries easily 4. At breaks during the group, this child is always on the go 5. Child tends to be somewhat emotional 6. When child moves about, s/he usually moves slowly 7. Child makes friends easily 8. Child is full of vigor when s/he arrives in the group 9. Child likes to be with people 10. Child often fusses or cries 11. Child likes to chat with neighbours ___^_ 12. Child is very sociable 13. Child is very energetic 14. Child takes a long time to warm up to strangers 15. Child prefers to do things alone 16. Child gets upset easily 17. Child prefers quiet, inactive games to more active ones 18. Child tends to be a loner 19. Child reacts intensely when upset 20. Child is very fiiendly with strangers Any additional comments about child's temperament (including expression of feelings, perceptions, or style of coping to stress) observed: 231 APPENDIX G - STORIES 232 Gl 1. Well sometime there was a beautiful girl. She lived in and she's at school. She drew her own stuff and she worked with ma at the shoe store. She... he... she... she was working very hard. She's good at math and she's good at spelling. And when she went in after lunch she was reading a story and the teacher said time to... and the teacher said, "Stop the reading now". And she stopped the reading and she's gotta just do the spelling test. Call . . called, um... um... that she has to read [you have to... you have to read?] read a book about spelling. And then she's done her spelling but she's... but it's all finished, her spelling, then she has to go home and do her homework. 2. When she got home she did her homework. She eats bananas, grapes, and uh a glass of juice. And when she's finished she gets to watch a movie about a Lion King. She wants to sit on the floor, she wants a (?) and its 8:00. She puts her pyjamas on, she brushes her teeth, and she wents to bed. The end. 3. One night, my parents were fighting because she was mad my dad would smoke a lot. My mom didn't like it because she wants... my mom wants to stop smoking my dad. So my dad was fighting my mom was fighting too but and I was crying because I was either going to... I'm either going to tell my auntie, she's going to come to my house and talk about what the problem was. And when it went on all summer and, and and they keep fighting and I wasn't happy again because my dad was very mad at mom cause he punch my mom's face and he punched her stomach, he punched everything and my mom was crying a lot. When I give her a cold cloth and take her to bed and feel very better then and on the last day my dad was back. My dad got a roses for my mom to make her feel better and my dad was very happy at my mom. The end. G2 1. Once there was a girl named , and she went to go elementary school. (pause) One day, she left her ... lunch at school, ... when she came home from school. Her mom said, "Where is your lunch bag?" said "Oops, I left it at school." "You get your bag in a lunch, you get your lunch in a bag tomorrow." ... "Yeah, I guess I better." 233 The next day, found, didn't find her lunch bag, she looked and looked and looked. But she couldn't find it. did not like this. She wanted to find her lunch bag so she could have her lunch in her normal lunch bag. That day, stayed after school trying to find her thing, her lunch bag, and her teacher said, " , is this yours?" "Yes, that's my lunch bag. ... Thank-you, I've got to go home or I'll miss the [bus]." The next day, her mother was proud of her because she remembered to bring it home. She didn't remember to bring it home the first time but she was still proud, the next day she brought it home and the next day she brought it home, and then she didn't forget to ... bring her lunch bag, she didn't forget to leave her lunch bag at school. The end. 2. The next day it was winter break. She helped put up the Christmas tree, she helped put on the decorations and she helped do all sorts of other stuff, like make cookies, help with the Christmas fruitcake, and help set up for the Christmas dinner. Then, one Sunday, they were invited to a church Christmas dinner party. ... She wondered if it was going to be really good food, and then it turned out to be really good food when she got there. Then, ... when she got back home it was time to go to bed, cause the next morning would be Christmas Eve and she'd wonder all the presents she got. She wished she'd only get five, because ... she was giving some away. She gave five presents away and she wanted five more, because, she gave away five, five, and wanted five more so she'd have an equal amount. The next morning, Santa only gave her ten. ... And she's like, "Mom, why did Santa give me TEN presents? I don't want ten presents, I only want five." "Next year put out ten he might even give you fifteen next time." The end. 3. Once .. once there were these parents, .. they were were going to move. did not want to move because she did not want to move from home. And it was the middle of school, she didn't want to leave, ... then the day, day after they moved into a new house, they were fighting. was at school when they were fighting, Someone heard them fighting and came over after the police had had arrived. The police felt they fixed their problems, and then they ummm .... got back together again. They didn't move away, and ... they didn't fight anymore, except once in a while. Then the day got home from school they weren't fighting, they were saying "Did you have a good day. Sweetie?" And she said "Well I didn't get a B on my 234 test but I got an A." "You did??" And then from then on the only thing got in school in grade four, five, six, and seven and higher grades was A. The end. G3 1. This is she's in my class, I don't like her she has a very hot temper she gets mad easily and um, ... I'm glad she didn't go skating with us and ... she has um, ... like I have a best friend and her name is and she ... likes to bug . 2. I have a friend her name is , I like her she's my best friend and um, ...we went skating today and I met with her and um, ...basically we had a good time and she's my best friend and I don't really get to see her much anymore. 3. Um, my mom and dad fight a lot and um, my mom and dad when they fight um...they...they hit each other, they swear, and ...my mom once tried to run over my dad um, and ...my mmm dad doesn't hit my mom that much but my mom she tried to throw um ...a pot at my dad the end. [when she tried to throw the pot at your dad, what happened?] My dad left. [The end]. The end. G4 1. Once upon a time [uh huh .. that's it that's great keep going there was a girl] there was a girl \am, . . . and ... um ... she was weird and somebody came up to her and pulled her hair. Then ... they threw her around and she went off. [Oh, what was she feeling then?] She was feeling mad. Can I erase her now? 2. Her, there was this girl and um, she was walking, she was walking to the couch to watch TV and her brother grabbed her leg and he wouldn't get up. ... She (laughs)... she got mad and ... her brother pinched her and (laughs) She tattle taled on him. [She tattle taled on him?] Yup. [So who'd she tattle tale to?] My dad. Can I erase her now? 3. Once upon a time my mom and dad were fighting and ... and dad wouldn't go put the garbage out so they got into a fight and mom hit my dad and my dad hit her back and they got into a fight and I don't know the rest. [You don't know the rest] Nope. ['Kay, great] And I made up the story [You made it up] Yup. 235 G5 1. 'Kay, Once there was a girl who went to school. She was very good at math, reading, and social studies. Her mom was very proud of her because she did good. But once, the girl did bad in her math and her mom was mad because she was always good in math. Then, she went home, she went to bed she was mad and she didn't want to go outside cause she thought her mom might yell at her. So then, the next morning she goes to her teacher and asks "Can I have a retest?" and the teacher says "Sorry this was the end." And, so then she went home. The end. 2. .'Kay, once there was a girl at home, she liked to sleep a lot, but when she slept her mom tried to get her up but she wouldn't get up because she stayed up late and when she went to bed she never wanted to get up. So, one day her mom came to her and said "you're going to bed early today." So she went to bed and then she got up, and she got up early so she was ready for school this day instead of being late. The end. G6 1(a). Once upon a time there was a girl named oh... . and her parents were always were always fighting and they decided to get a divorce. decided to live with her mom. Her mom lives in , ... was very upset. When she got to the new school she was she felt very small because of the size of the school. She was very quiet ... she was very quiet in the classroom and didn't talk to anyone. ... Later she needed to got to the bathroom and she was too shy to ask the teacher to be excused. And then someone said "Hi what's your name?" and that made her jump ...so ... and the.person's like "Sorry I didn't mean to scare you." And she ... and she quickly ran home. 1(b). came home from school that day and her mother asked her what had happened and she said , um... [Are you stuck?] Uh huh [You're stuck thinking about what she would have said?] Yeah. [Ok, ... there's no right or wrong it's just whatever you think of ] (laughs) [Are we kind of moving into this one down here then? or are we still on this picture, on this story?] This [Still on that one eh, ok. So she didn't know what to say, ...Whatever you think is the right thing.] Ok she came home from school and her mother asked how her day went, [yeah.] She said "well, uh, uh, it was good mom." 236 The next day she went to school thinking about what she had said to her mom. She was afraid. She had to tell her mom that she had lied and she didn't know how she was going to do it. That day she made one friend at school, she talked about... she talked it over with her friend. Her friend understood and just said "Well what you should do , is you should just after school, just tell your mom that you lied and that you're sorry and she may forgive you." So tried that. Her mom was very angry with her but still forgived her daughter um,,. The end. 2. ...This one's going to be hard. [Is it?] Hm hmm. Ât school' is easier. Hmm, once upon a time there was a girl named ... , She lived in a really big house, it was locked because her father didn't want them all to be open and free. felt kind of lonely. She never went to school and there was never any kids around. So she decided to go outside and think about it. She went out for... a bike ride. Maybe I should draw a bike. And um, ... she was thinking about how bored she was and her parents never did anything with her. She was thinking maybe she could get them to do things with her, like play games, go swimming, and all that other stuff. So she goes back into the house and talks and started talking to her mother and her mom said "Maybe later, I have some work to do." So she goes to talk to her dad, her dad says "Maybe later." She walked away, she went, then, then went to her room. She wasn't feeling so happy so she wasn't feeling that well so she went to lie down on her bed. Her parents came out 'cause they had done their work. They knocked on the door and said, "Can we come in? We want to listen to what you're going to tell us." So, sat on her bed and says, "Come in." Then she says "Mom, dad, I wanted to ask you something." And they said "Well what is it?" and she said, said "I wish you guys would spend more time with me you know like, maybe um, on the weekend we could go swimming or camping, or something?" The parents said yes, so they started packing cause they were going camping. They went camping that weekend, ... I gone beyond that last story. [Oh, that's ok, you can end it any time you want.] Saturday morning they left for for for for the woods. They own a cabin up in the woods, so, so, so so, so they went up to the cabin and ... and the cabin was near a lake. They unpacked everything then they all got into their swimsuits and went swimming. After that they made a 237 campfire and had a, and they roasted weiners and had a ... ohh ... hotdogs and macaroni for supper, and then they, then after a while they roasted marshmallows..•in front of the campfire and went to bed. The end. 3. [Very good story. Ok, if you could tell me one more story., uh, we don't need to draw this one but can you tell me a story about a girl where, or or just tell me a story about two parents fighting? Can you think up a story about two parents fighting?] Uh uh. [No?] Nope, (whispers, barely audible:) I don't want to. [Sorry?] I can't make up anything ... blah blah... [Oh, ha, ha. that would be your story about two parents fighting] (laughs) [Ok, yeah that's fine you don't have to tell a story about two parents fighting. Those were two great stories. Thank-you, thank- you very much.] G7 1. Once upon a time there was a girl and she was playing outside and she wanted to go to play at her friend's house and her friend wanted to come over to her house and the other girl wanted to go to the other house. And then she said, "mom, she wants to come over to our house. Can she?" And then her mom said "I guess so." And she, they went to ask her mom to play at the park. ... next day: "Come over to our house for dinner." And then and then they came home and they had supper at her house and then she asked her if she could ask her mom if she could sleep over too. And she went to ask her mom if she could sleep over. And then her dad came home, and her dad came home cause they worked at the same store. And then, um uh, this girl called ...and then and the dad walked in the house and she asked if it would be ok if she slept at her house and then the dad said "ok." And then she went home with her to her house and then she asked her mom if she could ask her dad if it would be ok if they had supper at her house and slept over at her house and her dad said it would be fine. And then after, um, those two asked if they could take their bikes and ride around the block a few times. Then after, and then they went to ask and then, um, the dad said "Only if you don't have homework to do." And the., then she went out to the garage and got her bike and then she rode her bike over to her house and then she took her bike from her garage and those two rided around the block ten times. Then after supper they had dessert. Then her mom phoned, no she phoned her mom, and 238 said "Mom we're having dessert now what (can't hear) dessert."(coughs) And then after they went to bed everybody went to bed, they had a bedtime snack, and then they went to sleep and lived happily ever after. [Wow, that was a great story. Ok, so that's the girl at home, the story about the girl at home, can you do a "once upon a time" about the girl at school?] Yup. 2.['Kay, 'once upon a time...] Once upon a time there was a girl and she had to go to school all the time 'cause her she got (can't hear) and the teacher mentioned that she would be welcome to go to summer school, and then her mom said that would be great if she went. And then she um, said to her mom "Do you think I could take a friend?" And she said, "Well its only for (inaudible) ... [Sorry keep going.] And then ... (corruption when tapedeck moved} ... asked the teacher "would it be ok if I brought a friend?" And then the teacher said "No, of course not, not unless they were best friends." And then this girl wasn't her best friend because her best friend lived far away. But then she told the teacher "I have a best friend, I have a best friend who lives farther away. So can I take the best friend from here with me?" And the teacher said "NO, only your first best friend." And she went home and said "Mom, the teacher said I couldn't take my best friend." And then her mom said "It's ok, maybe when you go you just [inaudible]because she isn't your first best friend in Canada. "And then they... her friend... she said to her mom "Would it be ok if I went to summer school with that friend? Would it be ok if my friend came with me to summer school?" And then they said "yes." And then they went to summer school and they were in grade eight in summer school. But in grade eight in summer school, you're always ahead of one grade. But in Canada where they go to school, we're in grade seven. And so, they went to class this girl she sat there, this girl she sat there, and then after, they those two at recess they played on the swings and then, they had fun, and they met new friends at summer school, and they had lots and lots of fun, and then, her friend said "Do you want to go on the swings with me?" And when she said "Ok, don't you like it here?" she said, and then she said "Oh, yes I do." 239 And then, after, her friend said "Do you like it here when its dark 'cause we're sort of in the forest too?" And she said "Well, there is bears here, but its ok, but would you like to sleep in the same cabin with me?" And she said, "sure would." And then, her, she said "why isn't it fun here when the bears come out?" And she said "Because they end up trying to eat everything." And then, her friend said "Well then, why do they why did they invent bears?" And she said "I don't know, I guess they just made up an animal, just like horses and panda bears almost all like those animals. I guess that's why they invented them. But I still want to sleep in the same cabin with you." And she said,"Ok." And then when it they the next morning when they went to school, the teacher said "Everybody you just missed recess." And then they went out for recess and then they played on the monkey bars. ... And then after, ... they went right on the monkey bars, but then just then the teacher rung her cow bell for that class to come in because all the classes had to come in at one time. So all the grade sevens were coming at one time, and after the grade eights and nines were coming at one time, and tens. And then at lunch time they had to go home for lunch because their mom was making, her mom was making soup and her mom was making soup. And then after they came back and they had 20 minutes left to play. And then after, they the the teacher, grade seven teacher rung her bell which was her bell was called "grade seven detention bell." And then ... the grade sevens went and then their teacher the grade eight teacher, rung the cow bell, and then, after, the bell rang for home time and the teacher said "You are dismissed to go home." And then they lived happily ever after that. G8 1. So one day she woke up and she got dressed, she ate breakfast, she did her hair, she...yeah she got changed, eat breakfast, and then she got all her stuff put all her school books in her schoolbag, and...then she had a drink of milk and then she left. She said bye to everybody and then she left.And she was walking to school she was playing outside with her friends and the bell rang.[hm hmm] And then she went went to her classroom and ... she started she walked in and she was waiting for her teacher. Her teacher's name is Mr. . And first they had to go to the music so they went to music and they played instruments and then they went back to the classroom and 240 they did math, and reading, and then they went out for recess, and then they came back and they had to do art... [Uh huh] ..so she made some pictures, flowers, and then she made a bookmark, and then, aft., then she had lunch and after lunch, well she ate lunch and then she went outside she had to...she played soccer and her team won., [hm hmm] and then after that she went to computers. And on her computer on her thing she was making a letter to her pen pal .. and cause that's what the class was doing, making letters to pen pals that day afternoon teacher. And so she did her border and she made her letter and then it was 2:00 cause computer an hour long. And then she had to do vocabulary. Vocabulary. And then she had vocabulary and... it was 2:30, yeah 2:30 they did this thing cause in spelling you've got...like Mr. didn't put words in the sentences... [No?] ..that you had to find and make sentences. So they did that for half an hour and then (?) for 10 minutes and then they played some games and then and then that's the end of the story. 2. Hm, once upon a time ... there was this girl she just came home from gymnastics. So she was stretching she was dancing to music. And then her mom called her down for dinner, she didn't want to go down for dinner, so she stayed in her room, she brang her dinner upstairs and she stayed in her room and was dancing. And then her mom told her to go to bed and then do her homework. And she says "No I don't want to do my homework" so she kept dancing cause I think she loved dancing.[Hm hmmm] And she kept singing to herself and her mom said "Well you have to go to bed." And she said well and then she said kept dancing and she like she kept dancing all day she wouldn't stop dancing (laughs) and then her mom finally came up in her room and said, "It's time to, do your homework and then you have to go to bed cause you're stayed up past your bedtime so you've gotta do your homework or the teacher's gonna get mad." And then she finally said "ok." And she sat down on her bed [hm hmm] and she ate her dinner [hm hmm] and then she finally did all her homework. And, cause I guess because she had so much cause she had dancing during school [yeah] she had lots and lots and lots and lots [she had tons of homework] yeah and then she kept dancing, she loved dancing.(laughs) Ok, that's all. [Is that the end of the story?] Yeah. 241 3. Ok, well there was this girl, there was this girl and she went up.., after dinner she went upstairs to do her homework, she kept hearing this yelling, she was wondering where it was where it was coming from. [Hm hmm] So she walked downstairs very very quietly and she saw her mom and dad fighting. She was so amazed cause they never fought before. And so she she yelled at them and told them to quit and they didn't listen and so she went back upstairs, tried ignoring it, made her music go louder and louder and louder and she just couldn't ignore it, it kept bugging her. So she finally went downstairs left them alone and went over to her...her neighbour's house. She told her neighbours and the neighbours phoned this person, I don't know, urn the police station, and both the parents got help and they never fought again. The end. G9 1. Once upon a time there was a girl. She... all her friends didn't want to, um... (pause) play with her because they were jealous because she was the prettiest in the school. And one day when she went to school she was all dressed up like... her... like for a party. And all the friends didn't want to play with her because she thought she was prettiest and they didn't like it when she thought she was the prettiest so she, so nobody didn't want to play with her. ...And the other day when she came to school she was very, very fancy because she, um, .... ^cause she... ^cause she had a bow in her hair. She had a very pretty dress, a princesses dress, she had very long hair, and she had very pretty shoes. She had earrings on. And that was the first day she was dressed up the prettiest. And all her friends said, "Isn't that girl the prettiest girl in the school? She thinks she's the best." The end. 2. Once upon a time there was this girl at home. And she went to the ocean and she saw a shark and a whale. And the shark was right under the boat and the shark was chasing it. So one day she went in a boat and her brother went, ...her father went on a boat, and... and she ... she forgot all about it and he fell in the water and the shark started chasing him and the whale started chasing the shark. So the boat was left there and the shark was still under it 'cause he wasn't moving and the whale thought he was a old rock in the water and so... the man was so tired he climbed back into the boat and he, ...and he was so heavy because he got safe and happily in the boat, and he went home to sleep. The end. 242 3. [I wonder now if you can tell me a story about two parents fighting?] I can't think of one. [of a story about two parents fighting? Do you want some time to think about it?] ...I just don't want to think anymore. [Okay, thank you for telling me the stories that you did think of] -declined to tell story about parents fighting- GIO 1. One day at girl at school came home and she put all her stuff away, and she wanted to go outside and play. And ... when she came home it got dirty so she had to get changed before she had to, so she could go outside to play. So she got changed, and she asked to out to play, ... [Is this the story about the girl at school?] This is the girl at home. She'll go to school after, [okay] ...But first she had to do her chores. So she did her chores, and when she was done it started to get dark out. So she couldn't go outside to play. She had to stay inside. So she went to bed. And when she got up in the morning it was sunny. She got dressed and... got ready for school. And went to school. And at school, her friends are calling her names, and she didn't like it. So she went to tell someone because she didn't think it was good for her friends to call her names. She didn't want to be teased. So the person at school said to talk to the people, to make them stop. So she talked to the people at school, and they stopped, and then they all went and played. [Is that the end?] Yeah. [Okay, thank you, you did well] 2. [Can you tell me a story now about the girl you drew at home?] I don't know. Its hard. [What would you say about this girl? What's going on in this picture?] One day a girl was at home, and she had mail that came, in the mail. So she opened it, and inside her friend wrote her a letter, and she gave her a bracelet too. So the girl at home wanted to write back, to the girl who gave her the letter. So she got out her paper and pen and started writing. She wanted to be really nice to the girl that sent her the letter because she liked her a lot. The girl at home was writing her a letter and she sent it. And at the end it said to write back soon, but she never wrote back. So the girl got really mad and sent her a lot of letters, and phoned her a lot. But she didn't want to talk or write back. 243 So the girl wanted to know what was happening. So she went over to that house with her mom and she talked to the girl and she wanted to know why she wasn't writing back or wanting to talk. So she wanted to talk and then they agreed to write a letter each time one person sent one. So her friend, ...the girl at home got, wrote her a letter, the girl far away, wrote her a letter. And then they kept on trading back letters, so it would be even. And they phoned each other every Thursday after school. The end. [Thank you, you did very well] 3. [I'm wondering if you can tell me one more story. I'm wondering if you can tell me a story about two parents fighting? What story would you tell about two parents fighting?] I don't know. [Can you think of one?](no response)[Is that a hard one?Okay, lets turn it off] -declined to tell story about parents fighting- Bl 1. Once upon a time... there was a boy playing basketball he was at school ... well... He shot the ball and he miss... he missed the net. He didn't get it and he shot it again and he got it in. (pause) [How did he feel when he when he got it in?] Happy. [How did he feel when he first missed it?] Angry. [Who was he angry at?] The ball. ...[Okay, so the boy misses, he's angry, he's angry at himself, and he shoots again and he gets it in and he feels happy, and that's, that's the end?] Yup. 2. Once upon a time there was a boy watching TV then, then show came on, then then he the the boy went to get a drink, but then when he came back there was a different show on -the channels are changing [channels are changing] Yeah, then the boy got scared then he turned the TV off ...then he told his mom. [Uh huh, what happened?] Then his mom was playing a trick on him. [She told him?] Yup. Then he turned the TV on and it wasn't doing it any more. [Ahhh, ... then how did he feel?] Happy after it went on. [Uh huh, and he felt scared before when it was doing the weird thing?] Yup. Yup. [Is that the end?] Yup. B2 1. After school when he was run., running home and trying to find his dad.. [So 'once upon a time there was a boy,] uh [..at school, and after school..] uh. He he left and he found, [...he left cause he wanted to find his dad?] 244 ...he, he was looking for his dad where he was, and he was upstairs? [child looks around, as though he's looking and looking but can't find, playful but anxious]. 2. There was a boy at home, going home and uh, playing with some action figures, and he was missing his dad in his mind. [In his mind. He was thinking of his dad? (child nods) What happened then?] Oh, he was just still playing but he had nothing to do so he just did that. [So he just kept playing.]Yeah. 3. Once there was a boy walking home and, when he he got home he found his dad and mom fighting and the dad hit hit hit the mom and the dad ran away and he was gone [So he saw them fight and the dad left and the boy was sad.] Hm. B3 l.One day there was a boy. A boy crumpled up a paper ball and threw it at him. So he went to tell, but the teacher wasn't listening. So ...he told him to stop... and so he stopped. The end. 2. Mmm, one day there was a boy, and he was going to get a ice cream, and he was so happy. But then his parents said that he couldn't get one. ... And then he got sad. Ugh, ...And then... [What happened then?] I'm not sure. [That's okay. Can you think of an ending?] ...Then he saved up money, and he got one himself. The end. 3. -declined to tell story about parents fighting- Mi 1. Urn, this is a story of one kid that was inside playing just sitting around playing just watching TV. And he decided to go to his friend's and asked to play soccer and he got in a in a argument and they settled it, and they started playing soccer and they they started playing together and they made friends together, and and they played a whole bunch of other games... The end. 2. This is a story of one kid that was in detention for a long time and then he started to ...started to make more friends, he got more friends, and one day he just decided to play basketball and he went outside and started being started getting real good at basketball. The end. 245 3. One day, I was ... this kid was in his house playing when he heard his mom and dad fighting. He got real scared and went in his closet and after they stopped fighting they they started feeling better but they got in another fight when they were drinking and so he went downstairs and he finally went to his friend's and phoned some friend that cops and they and they were they when they got to the house they were fist-fighting and and he went home and and and he and they they started settling it and they went to counselling and they started being a family and they went out for pizza. The end. B5 1. Well, he's at, he's at school and he's real happy cause he's playing around with his friends... arid he's having a good day... and, ... And he was real happy and er, a good day, uh, until he gets home ... [hmm, ok, so we're moving into this one?] Yup. [So for this one the boy is at school and because he was playing with his friends he had a good time and he felt happy?]. Yeah, the end. 2. Ok, there was a boy who went home and his mom and dad were fighting in the next room and he was sitting in his bedroom and he was sad and he was worried about his mom ... (pause) and that's all. [And that's how it turned out? He was feeling sad and worried?] (child nods) [Thanks....] 1. This is my story about a guy named , he's my best friend. This kid's name is my best friend. He just got caught chewing gum. Now he's going to talk with the principal, Mr. . Robbie feels really bad. The end. [ok, he went to talk to the principal, how do you think he feels?] He went to talk with the principal and the principal gave him bad news so he had to go home for lunch for the rest of the week. really felt bad, when he gave his mom the note, he really really felt bad. He felt really guilty and now he has now he has his punishment and he's grounded. The end. 2. This is me when my hamster died. I feel really awful. It's because that my hamster died of mites that really made me feel awful.'Cause I knew it was really bad for my hamster cause he was really really really sick and ill so so then he died and I felt really sad for him. The end. 246 3. 'Kay, um um, okay, this is a story about my parents fighting. One day I woke up, got out of bed and I heard this arguing and screaming and I went out into the living room and I saw my parents fighting. They were yelling about how much money they had in the bank and that somebody was stealing it all and my mom thought it was dad taking it just for himself to buy his fishing tackle. So, so now my mom's yelling at him and thinks that he's like taking all her money just so that she earned um, for fishing tackle. So, now they're in an argument and they and I don't know how to get them out of it. And then they and then they start abusing themselves by by by talking how about how gross they all look and how how how scrungy they are and really awfully so I wake I wake up my big brother and I said to him "Our parents are having an argument" and he says "Well they've been arguing since 2:00 in the afternoon" and I said "oh, well when did they go to bed?" and he said "about 12:00 and then they started in the morning." So I really felt awful. I thought I thought I was in the middle of this, maybe maybe it was all my fault because 'cause I thought Mark would be a good dad but he IS and I KNOW he didn't take the money, maybe somebody just got our account number and made a fake card, now I really feel awful. At least, um, at least they got out of the argument at least two days ago. And now, and now they're they're really happy and we're having a happy life again. The end. B7 1. Ok, there's a boy at school. He's sitting at his desk. He's listening to his teacher to give him instructions to do science questions and about 15 minutes later he asks the teacher, "I forgot what you said about the science quiz. Can you help me help me again?" And the teacher goes and helps him, and the next day later he goes to school. And on his desk it says "100%" on the science quiz. [The end?] Yeah, the end. 2. There's a boy at home watching TV with the TV on full blast, and his mom calls, "Turn the TV down!" And he goes, "Okay mom." Then he goes, he still doesn't turn it down, and she goes, "Son, turn it down!" and he goes, "I will, I will" Then 15 minutes later he turns it down. And his mom goes, "Thank you." Then he goes, "Your welcome mom." 247 Then 15 minutes later he has to go to bed because its 9 o'clock. And he goes... his mom goes, "Come on, come up to bed," and he goes, "I'll be right there." Then 10 minutes later she's..he's still not up there, then 15 minutes past and his mom yells, "Come on upstairs, its time to go to bed!" Then he goes, "Okay mom," then he goes upstairs and its 12 o'clock and he goes, "I better go to bed so I can wake up bright and early in the morning so I can go to school." [Is that the end] Yup. 3. One day these two parents they were enjoying a nice dinner and they all of a sudden., um, um, ...the dad reaches over the table to grab the salt. The mom goes, my mom goes, "Don't reach over the table to grab the salt, that's rude." And my dad goes, ...well my dad, you know, says, "Shut up!" And my mom goes, "What did you say?" And he goes, "Shut up!" And my mom goes, she goes, "Get out of the house!" And my dad goes, "No, why don't you make me?" And my mom goes, "Just get out!" And my dad pushes her onto the couch and he goes in the room, and he locks it, and he start unpacking, he starts packing, and he jumps out the window, and he starts leaving., the home., and mom, she gets very upset, ^cause she didn't mean it that way, and she said, and she called my dad back in the house, but he didn't want to, because he yells, "You said you wanted me out!" And she goes, "I didn't mean it that way." And he goes, "Yes you did." And she goes, "No I didn't." And he goes, "Um, didn't you?" And she goes, "No." And then she goes, then he goes, "Will you forgive me?" "I forgive you." Then he comes back in the house, and they live happily ever after. B8 1. This is my story about a guy at school that is playing. One time there was this kid he was playing with his friends, playing tag. So one day he was still playing tag, um, his friends were chasing him and he was running away "aaahhh I need to get out of here." So he got out, he was trapped, he was he was at a friend's. He looked both ways to see if he could get away but there were too many people coming at him. Eeee. So...he had an idea. So (what?)one guy and went under his legs and went as fast as he could into the school and hid. The end. 248 2. One time the kid was coming home from school, and these kids were chasing him, so he ran as fast as he could to get home, and when he saw his dog, and his dog chased after the people, and they ran away this time, heh heh. The end. 3. One time this kid's parents were fighting and they always fought, and his dad never slapped his mom though, never. He threatened to, but., he didn't. One day, his mom got him and went in a car and uhhh let's see, (coughs) and his dad smashed in the dashboard and he ran away. He went between two trees and he felt so nice between the trees and he came back to the car and he was feeling better. The end. B9 l.Once upon a time there's this kid in my class, and he slammed his finger in a door, in a car door. And um he had a, and it split open, and his finger got lost, and it got right cut off. And um then he came back to school and he had his finger all healed up. [The end?] The end. [Thank you, that was a very interesting story] 2. [And can you tell me a story about the boy at home?] The boy at home, he had the fanciest home in Mission. And he had a little elevator go up, ^cause he was so tall he could hit the roof. He had a little secret hide-out. And he went up there and he shot some bullets out of his thing. And um, the end. [The end?] Yeah. [Thank you] 3. [I'm wondering if you can tell me one more story. This time a story about two parents fighting] Now, no, no I don't know nobody. [No?] Uhh, uhh [Okay] -declined to tell story about parents fighting- BIO 1. This story is about uh a little boy who's eight years old and he has an enemy at school that's name . And one day somebody kicked a soccer ball and accidentally hit in the head. down on the ground laughing his head off and I got mad and one of his friends was laughing also, ... and and then I got so mad that I hit him and he said "I'm sorry" and his friend started to run after me. The end. (laughs). 249 2. This is another story about a little boy named . He has a little brother who's very annoying. One day he ran upstairs when I was playing when I was going to play Nintendo, walked out of, urn... hit me in the gut and then [3rd character]... just walked out of the room. I got so mad I was ready to hit but I couldn't because was standing there. And, downstairs nothing really was going busy on, mom was cooking, was tired and was in the bathroom and nobody was in the TV room. The end. (laughs). 3. One day me um, one day, um 's mom and dad um were getting along downstairs in the kitchen but then, um, made a little mess and then they didn't know who should clean it up and they started to fight and dad just got and mom kept saying "You should clean it up" \am "You should clean it up I'm cooking dinner" and dad should say "No you should clean it up it's your dog." Then they were just fighting and fighting and dad just got so mad that he grabbed mom's arm and he said "YOU CLEAN IT UP" and and the hot water spilt and burned them both and then they would never fight again. The end. Bll 1. Once there was this boy that he sat really funny in school and everyone made fun of him. And the teacher always got mad at him and stuff. And um, one day he went home and told his mom and like ... like um, well she asked him what he's going to do about it and he didn't know. So, he went... The other day he went to school he started sitting like that again, he had a habit, and everyone started making fun of him. Teacher got mad and he went home and practiced sitting straight like, every day, and he came to school the next day and everyone was still making fun of him and so he kept on practicing, then he was sitting like everyone else and um, people liked him after that. The end. 2. Once there was this kid, he um, he had this dog named and he always bit at his toes and stuff and his mom got mad at him for his dog drooled all over him 'cause got the carpet all yucky and so his mom sent him to his room again, the dog started biting him so he chained him up, um, his desk and the dog, like, couldn't bite his toes and stuff and then he rubbed him with a towel and went to supper but there was still some drool left and they got mad at him and he only could have a little bit of supper, he didn't get to eat dessert. 250 So, he went to his room again and wiped him really good and he went to the floor, like there was dog drool on the floor, so he didn't know what to do and he took his dog outside and chained him up (inaudible)...he wiped the floor and his toes really good and his mom didn't get mad at him anymore. The End. 3. Once there was this kid like, his mom and dad always fought and he was so like, he wanted them to stop and um he was always telling them that they were yelling so loud so he went to this place, the counselling and these people told him what, like something to do, so he told him to like, ...they told him to ...um phone a friend and tell him or yell really loud and phone a friend and really and stuff, so he did that, and he did it a couple times and really started like, not fighting so much. And he was happy and like and the mother happy too that they weren't fighting. The end. B12 1.. [ok] Boy is working at his desk. [what's he working on?] Math. [Math. Wonderful. All right, the story needs to have a beginning, and a middle and an end. So we've had the boy at school working at his desk. And then what's going to happen? What, what's the end, of the story?] (Long pause) He's finished, get's finished? [He get's finished doing his math? Great, that's wonderful, ok. Now let's look at the second picture of the boy at home, can you tell me a story about that?] 2. He's standing on his bed [?] He's sitting on his bed and playing a video game. [Oh .. what kind of video game is he playing?] Game gear. [Game gear. oh. Is there an ending to that story?] He beats the game. 3. [Great, ok now I want you to tell me a third story but you're not going to draw a picture, this story is going to be about two parents fighting. Can you think of a story to tell me about that?] Uh uh. [No? Can you think of a story about two people fighting?] Yeah. [Do you think you could tell me a story about that?] One person gets beat up and the other one doesn't? [oh] Then one has to go to the office and one doesn't, [oh so one has to go to the office. What happens in the office?] Oh, you get a pink slip. And whoever has the most at the end of the year, ...I guess is bad. 251 B13 1. My first picture is about a boy who's... walking to school, he has to get up very early, and when he gets to school, he's locked out. So he's trying to find a way to get into the school. He's thinking . . . if he should break a window, or if he shouldn't. And he thinks that if he does that he won't get into trouble because he's well- known by a whole bunch of people in the school. But, he says, if he doesn't then he should just walk back home but his parents aren't home so he doesn't know what to do. Finally, two hours... actually no, finally nobody comes and he's sitting there, bored, and there's nothing to do so he walks back home so his parents tell him "Where were you?" And he goes "I was at school." And they say "It's Saturday". The end. 2. Ok There's a boy walking home and a stranger's following him so he's running all over the place trying to get away from the stranger, when he gets home nobody's there and his house is locked up. So he goes to his neighbours and nobody's there ... so, he goes to the Block Parent and nobody's there either. Then he goes and he sees the stranger again and so he picks up rocks and starts throwing them at him, and, he breaks the stranger's car window and then the stranger runs after him. And then, he he he runs for a long time, and then he sees somebody walking down the road so he tells him, and they, they, um let them into their house and he phones 911. The end. 3. Ummm, (pause) One night it was really noisy in the house and I didn't know what it was. So I woke up and I looked out the door and my mom and dad were fighting. So, I didn't know what to do because I was very very little. So then I went to a phone and I phoned the police and when they got there they arrested him and he went to jail. The end. B14 1. Uhhh, once upon a time there was this kid named who was a really religious uh type a kid, umm .. he's at break, lunch and recesses, he sits in the bathroom praying, and reading bibles and stuff like that. He's just a really smart kid and doesn't really have a lot of friends, and, um, his name's and he died, I guess. 252 2. Once upon a time there was this kid named , and he's he's in the kid's class named um, he's he barely can walk he um, one day at breakfast he was in a rush to get to school, and .. he was he forgot to brush his hair, which he does all the time, um, and this particular this particular uh morning he uh he was so much in a rush that he finished breakfast and uh practically his entire day's worth of food before his the rest of his family was done praying. 3. 'Kay, Once upon a time there was uh, this family and uh the father went out to go get uh some uh beer for uh and some wine for their anniversary and uh, he uh, went to the store and when he got there he uh saw a friend and he went to the bar with him and um about 1:00 in the morning he came back slamming on the door totally drunk and uh his wife wouldn't let him in and uh, he uh, .. kicked in the door uh, everybody we had they had blockades on all the doors, and uh he uh left and when then they got into a big fight and he started uh or they started arguing and then it started getting into the violent uh stage and he uh hit her and she uh fell to the floor, and he ran out and uh he went to uh out to uh the bar and told uh the his friends this story which was totally different from the story that my mom told the cops when she called the cops they uh we told them what happened the cops what happened and uh they went to the bar and arrested my dad and uh, two days later when he uh was sent uh let out that night he came uh, stoned out of his crystals, and uh came up to my mom's new uh trans am uh, and smashed out all the windows, came to the door smashed up smashed down the door, and, uh, hit my mom again and we've never seen him since. The end. B15 1. Once upon a time, my teacher? my teacher lets me play? My teacher lets me play. Ok, umm, hmm what else [what are you doing now in the picture] What am I doing? [What are you doing in that picture?] I do work. [You do work? Ok so tell me about your picture]. I was going I was going to draw a piece of paper like that uh that I was working uh but I didn't have enough time. [You didn't have enough time?] hm hmm. That is um my friend. And that's my teacher doing handwriting and that says " ". (pause) [Is there anything else?] uh uh. [So that is the end of the story]. Um, its the end of this school. [Ok, so the end]. The end. 253 2. Once upon a time I had six people in my family and what else, hmm, my brother stuck a knife in his in his belly, .... [and] and .... and there was seven people at our door, and what else, hmm [What happens to your brother when he stuck a knife?] He dies. And he says "no fair, he hit Sonny over there and, ha ha you don't have no gun". But I didn't have enough time. [And what happens at the end of the story?] Hmm, he get, they get, they went, um, to a hospital and got better. [Ok is that the end?] yup. 3. Once upon a time my dad and my mom broke my dad broke off ...and threw my mom down on the bed. And what else did he do what else did he do. (pause) He threatened her. What else... (pause) and then he she my mom threatened him [ok] they got the police after him and stuff [ok] and that did happen. My dad my dad took the car and he... he... he almost went off a cliff 'cause he didn't like he didn't like none of us and he doesn't like my mom, he doesn't like , he doesn't like , he doesn't like , he doesn't like me. [He doesn't like all your brothers?] Nope, he didn't like none of us. [so, and then what happens?] Um, the tow truck came [So, did he go on off the cliff?] Yup, but he went into water. [Uh huh .. and the tow truck came and?] And got him out of the water uh out of the river. [I see, and..] The end. [ok]. Interview not included An eleventh girl was interviewed but she was not included in the study due to an incomplete structure to her stories: 1. Do I have to say "Once upon a time?" [You don't have to ..] Ok, once upon a time there was a girl, she was seven years old, and she goes to , and there's lots of people in my class, one's named and and , and , and and , and me , and . . . , , and and and and , . . . The end. (incomplete) 2. [There you go]. Once upon a time there was two parents and they were fighting. My dad used to tell my mom jokes that are and lies and there was and those are their names and I have two sisters and and I babysit and , ... and my mom [inaudible] when we were in a car 'cause my mom didn't like my dad's car. (incomplete)


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