The Personal Experience of Developing Sexuality in Middle Childhood
Review TypeNone: Degree-based Submission
Repository Posting Date2019-06-06T13:36:02Z
Author DetailsMarie Winn, PhD, RN, PHN
Lead Author Sigma AffliationNon-member
Level of EvidencePhenomenology
Research ApproachQualitative Research
CINAHL HeadingsChild Development; Sexuality -- In Infancy and Childhood; Life Experiences -- In Infancy and Childhood; Sexuality; Life Experiences
The purpose of this study was to investigate the personal experience of developing sexuality in middle childhood. Subjects were twenty-four children, twelve boys and twelve girls, between the ages of 6 and 9 obtained through community youth groups in three middle class white suburbs of a major midwest metropolitan area. Children were interviewed using a schedule of open-ended questions developed in pilot studies to elicit their perceptions and descriptions of their inner experiences related to sexual growth and development. Interviews were audio-taped and transcribed. Data analysis consisted of identifying data-generated categories and classification of data according to domains and component dimensions of person-environment interaction developed by the North American Nursing Diagnosis Association (NANDA): physical (exchanging, perceiving, moving), behavioral (choosing, communicating, relating), and inner experience (valuing, feeling, knowing). Results showed the experience of developing sexuality in this population to be wholistic with developmental trends consistent with cognitive and psychosocial theories. Patterns identified suggest the personal experience of developing sexuality in this age period can be usefully characterized by the domains of physical, behavioral and inner experience person-environment interaction. The predominance, specific manifestations and meanings of interactions differed across this period beginning with primary emphasis on the physical domain, progressing to the behavioral domain and showing evidence of a shift to an inner experience focus during the latter part of this period. Other domains and component dimensions are best understood in relationship to the prominent domain. An age-related trend emerged in which the meaning of personal experience shifted from immediate reality to awareness of other perspectives, weighing of one's own situation in relation to other possibilities, and emerging sensitivity to the entire range of implications of being an individual who is also a boy or a girl. Individual differences such as personality factors markedly influenced how events and relationships were experienced and expressed. It appears likely that skills developed during this period will have an impact on adolescent and adult sexual development and functioning by influencing the negotiation of meanings.
DescriptionThis dissertation has also been disseminated through the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. Dissertation/thesis number: 9033236; ProQuest document ID: 303834575. The author still retains copyright.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Minnesota
NotesThis item has not gone through this repository's peer-review process, but has been accepted by the indicated university or college in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the specified degree.
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