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Collier, M.J. Gaier, E.L. (1961). The Childhood Story Preferences of Adolescent Finnish Girls. Am. Imago, 18(2):187-204.

(1961). American Imago, 18(2):187-204

The Childhood Story Preferences of Adolescent Finnish Girls

Mary Jeffery Collier and Eugene L. Gaier

This is the seventh in a series of papers (Collier & Gaier, 1958a, 1958b, 1959; Collier, in press; Gaier & Collier, in press) to deal with the psychological implications of childhood story preferences, as reported by subjects at different stages of development. The presnt study concerns 380 students enrolled at the Girls’ High School in Pori, Finland, during December of 1957.

Subjects and Procedure

All the students from the fifth to the ninth grades (N=284), who ranged in age from 14 to 20 years, as well as one class each of those students enrolled in the second, third, and fourth grades (N=96), ranging in age from 11 to 16 years, served as subjects (Total N=380). Most of these girls, with a mean age of 15.85 years and a median age of 15.84 years, were presumed to be adolescent.

The subjects were asked by their headmistress (2) to name and summarize their favorite childhood story and to answer a series of questions about it. The headmistress reported that the girls seemed surprised, at first, by her request but interested and conscientious in responding to it; she provided the following background information. Most of the subjects lived in a small town or in the country. Even the oldest girls had no apparent memory of the events of World War II but all the girls seemed clearly to recall the Finnish postwar crises and attendant shortages of food and clothing. Eleven had lost their father during the war.

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