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Children's conceptions of pride Zwiers, Michael Lee

Abstract

One of the major concerns of counselling psychology is to foster development rather than to simply remediate problems. One of the emotions through which proactive development might be facilitated is pride. Pride has potential connections to achievement motivation, care and attention toward work, task persistence, self-competence, esteem, and general productive well-being within a social context. The purpose of this study was to describe children's conceptions of pride in the anticipation that knowing about these conceptions would help indicate ways for counsellors to intervene. Using phenomenography, a descriptive research methodology that emphasizes conceptions of things experienced, child participants in Grades 2, 4, and 7 were interviewed to determine their conceptions of pride. The children were invited to talk about pride, mainly by telling stories of experiences with pride. The resulting narratives were analyzed to sift out all qualitatively distinct categories of meaning for pride, mapping the general domain of the emotion. Eight distinct conceptions emerged, including three active or doing conceptions (achieving, acting ethically, and acting independently) and five having conceptions (possessing, having a desired attribute or ability, belonging, having special status, and pride by association). All conceptions were represented in all three grades sampled, with no outstanding age- or gender-related differences. Research results contribute to our knowledge of how children experience and comprehend pride, and point toward educational and psychological implications for those who parent, educate, or counsel children.

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