Perspectives on children’s stressors and supports
In the nearly 30 years since the Convention on the Rights of Child (UN, 1989) first called for the inclusion of children in research, evidence has demonstrated the many benefits of engaging children as active participants in research. There exists a gap in qualitative research examining the psychological well-being of elementary-aged African American children. This study used child-friendly qualitative methodology to understand the psychological well-being of elementary-aged African American children living in New Orleans, Louisiana. The study explored children’s stressors, supports, and reactions to stressors and supports from the perspectives of multiple stakeholders: elementary-aged children, parents of elementary-aged children, and school teachers and administrators. The purpose of the study was to gain understanding of children’s unique perspectives and to inform culturally-appropriate school-based supports. To understand the unique and shared perspectives of the stakeholders regarding the constructs of children’s psychological well-being, the research used children’s ecomap drawings, focus group narratives, and interview data. Through the use of a deductive-inductive coding process, Support, Reaction to Support, Stressor, and Reaction to Stressor themes and codes were identified and defined. The findings revealed overlap and unique perceptions regarding children’s psychological well-being. Further findings, implications, future research directions, and limitations are discussed.