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Child Interview

Ronald Hughes

Mon 5:30-9:30

Child Interview

The interview I conducted took place in the courtyard of my complex in Riverside California, with the interviewee and myself. For the purpose of his paper and to protect the adolescent privacy lets call her sunshine. I chose sunshine because I think that sunshine is so beautiful, and this adolescent was just that. Sunshine is a fourteen-year-old adolescent female of Africa America mores. She is above average in statue and carries a very shy and nonchalance deposition. She is a very attractive young lady and does above average work in her school setting. She appears to be a normal every day child with a lifetime of experiences awaiting her.

Sunshine was the daughter of my life long best friend and he approved of the interview, however he was not present during the interview. The Interview took place on February 10 at about 5:00 pm it lasted approximately two hour with small breaks in between. The weather was cool and the sun had started to set as we started.

I sat with sunshine and asked her several questions that I thought were significant in the process of this interview assignment. Sunshine demeanor was that of a juvenile delinquent being question about a crime. I new this was not a way to get close to her nor establish a bond of trust that would be necessary for her to open up to me. So I decided to play a game that required her trust, this proved to be a icebreaker as she started to open up slowly as I started the questions.

The following questions are the questions that I presented to her:

1. What makes you, you?

2. Do you enjoy school

3. How do you select your friends?

4. What makes children Popular at school?

5. Is there violence at your school?

6. Do you feel safe at school?

7. How is your self-esteem?

8. Would you consider yourself happy and joyful or depressed and down?

9. Have you ever or thought about using drugs or alcohol?

I started the interview off by asking a very arcane and confusing question to sunshine; what makes you, you? She was flabbergasted and didn't know how to respond. She stumbled and stuttered to say almost nothing for about three minutes. Then she started to talk and talk she did. She summarized her comments with "People grow up all coming from all different kinds of places, backgrounds and families. They will all have different identities. Gender affects the decisions made by people. Their identity and the nature of the person make them act the way they do. Nobody is the same and nobody will ever

be. All the outside influences will have an effect on their identities but the individual has the last word on it. Nobody is the same because each person will form his own identity to what ever they want to be like"

I went on to ask her about school and how she felt about it and the relationships that she has gathered while being there. She was open and forward about school. She didn't care for it too much. She believed that it was more of a fashion show that didn't charge admission than an institution of learning. She felt that this was how and why most of the children at school got recognized and established their so call status at school. About her friends and the selection process, she was reserved and settle with the position of dealing with friend that have being around through-out her elementary experience. Meaning that she does not set out to make new friends, she would prefer to relish and maintain the ones that she presently has.

I then addressed the violence in the schools, Sunshine admitted she does not feel safe at all and that she has seen violence on a regular basis. She has also has been a victim of it. She states and maintains that television is to blame. She feels children watch and bring it to school, especially the wrestling moves, and violent behavior.

The literature also feels and backs her opinion on violence. Violence among our youth has spread widely throughout the nation. This can be linked to several problems in our society, but mainly one. The constant barrage of television and media violence causes deviant behavior in children. When children are young they are very impressionable by the things around them. Often kids are influenced by what they see. If kids are watching shows or being introduced to violent acts they too will tend to act out this violence (Huesmann and Eron, 1986). The results of studies on the effects of televised violence are consistent. By watching aggression, children learn how to be aggressive in new ways and they also draw conclusions about whether being aggressive to others will bring them rewards (Huesmann and Eron, 1986).

Sunshine's self-esteem appeared to be upbeat and displayed an amazingly high level of positive self-esteem. However she stated that she is usually a person with very low self-esteem. In most cases, children with low self-esteem feel that the important adults and peers in their lives do not accept them, do not care about them very much, and would not go out of their way to ensure their safety and well-being. Negative self-esteem is related to low self-confidence, insecurity, underachievement, anxiety, depression, acting-out behavior, sleep problems and being a loner (Yarnell, 1999). During their early years, young children's self-esteem is based largely on their perceptions of how the important adults in their lives judge them. The extent to which children believe they have the characteristics valued by the important adults and peers in their lives figures greatly in the development of self-esteem.

After we ascertained her level of self esteem I decided to ask a question that I knew was sensitive to her. I asked her was she a up beat happy and vibrant 14 year old or was she a depressed and down 14 year old. She got quite for a moment and started to share her depression. Sunshine has been dealing with a family break down between of her mother and father.

Depression in school-age children may be one of the most overlooked and under treated psychological disorders of childhood, presenting a serious mental health problem. Depression in children has become an important issue in research due to its many emotional forms, and its relationship to self-destructive behaviors. Depression is



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