Title page for ETD etd-10212011-084716

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author De Klerk, Hester Magdalena
Email magdelphd@webmail.co.za
URN etd-10212011-084716
Document Title Young South African children’s recognition of emotions as depicted by Picture Communication Symbols
Degree PhD
Department Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Advisor Name Title
Dr S Dada Committee Co-Chair
Prof E Alant Supervisor
  • preferred symbols
  • expected symbols
  • Picture Communication Symbols (PCS)
  • graphic symbols
  • emotion situation knowledge
  • basic emotions
  • emotion knowledge
  • emotions
  • unexpected symbols
Date 2011-09-08
Availability unrestricted
Experiencing and expressing emotions is an essential part of psychological well-being. It is for this reason that most graphic symbol sets used in the field of AAC include an array of symbols depicting emotions. However, to date, very limited research has been done on children’s ability to recognise and use these symbols to express feelings within different cultural contexts.

The purpose of the current study was to describe and compare Afrikaans and Sepedi speaking grade R children’s choice of graphic symbols when depicting four basic emotions, i.e. happy; sad; afraid; and angry. After ninety participants (44 Afrikaans and 46 Sepedi speaking) passed a pre-assessment task, they were exposed 24 emotions vignettes. Participants had to indicate the intensity the protagonist in the story would experience. The next step was for the participants to choose a graphic symbol from a 16 matrix overlay which they thought best represented the symbol and intensity.

The results indicated a significant difference at a 1% level between the two groups’ selection of expected symbols to represent emotions. Afrikaans speaking participants more often chose expected symbols than Sepedi speaking participants to represent different basic emotions. Sepedi speaking participants made use of a larger variety of symbols to represent the emotions. Participants from both language groups most frequently selected expected symbols to represent happy followed by those for angry and afraid with expected symbols for sad selected least frequently.

Except for a significant difference at the 1% level for happy no significant differences were present between the intensities selected by the different language groups for the other three basic emotions. No significant differences between the two gender groups’ choices of expected symbols to represent emotions or between the intensities selected by the different gender groups were observed.

© 2011 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

De Klerk, HM 2011, Young South African children’s recognition of emotions as depicted by Picture Communication Symbols, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-10212011-084716 / >


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