Evangelia Akrivou, School-aged children's perceptions of financial crisis, Προσχολική & Σχολική Εκπαίδευση, 4|2016, 305-322

The aim of this study was to investigate elementary school children’s perceptions about the phenomenon of the financial crisis. The sample consisted of 160 school-aged students attending the fifth and sixth grade in schools in a medium-sized Greek city. Initially, students completed a questionnaire examining their views on the financial crisis. In particular, children were asked to define and interpret the economic crisis through two open-ended questions. Then, they were asked to answer 45 Likert-type questions, which examined their perceptions regarding the economic crisis and its impact on their psychosocial development, behaviour, school life, family relationships and society. They were then asked to draw a picture representing whatever comes to their mind when they hear the words economic crisis. The study was completed by conducting interviews among a sample of 10 students, aiming at a deeper understanding of the topic under investigation. During the interviews, children were asked to communicate their views about the economic crisis, their associated feelings and the changes observed in their lives. The analysis of children’s responses to the questionnaire showed that they have linked the economic crisis primarily with its economic impact and secondarily with issues relating to social impacts, political life and the psychological state of the Greek people. Similarly, an analysis of the drawings revealed that their perceptions on the economic crisis are related to the social and economic impact, politics and peoples’ psychological condition. In the interviews, students communicated their thoughts and their emotions which reveal an intense psychological load. Το conclude, our results indicate that children hold the belief that the consequences of the economic crisis adversely affect many areas of their life and as a result people have to deal with multiple crises and not just one.

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