Representation of Romantic Love in Children's Drawings: Age and Gender Differences

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This study was designed to fill our current knowledge gap in children's representation of romantic love. To this end, we used a drawing task: 127 children ages 6 to 10 were asked to draw a person and a person in love. Performing content analysis, we identified seven graphic indicators used by children to depict romantic love in their drawings. As expected, results exhibited age and gender differences. First, older children used a higher number of graphic indicators than younger children. The use of each type of indicator (except for one) varied with age. Second, girls used a higher number of graphic indicators than boys. These gender differences were specific to three graphic indicators. Results are discussed in terms of children's developing representation of romantic love and of the potential impact of their socio-cultural environment on this representation.

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