Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Impact of the Fresh Air Fund: The life of the hosted child
by Wells, Lynn S., Psy.D., Union Institute and University, 2012, 32; 3530491
Abstract (Summary)

This qualitative research study explored adults' reflections on the impact of their childhood cross-racial and cross-social class homestays on their emotional and intellectual growth, their feelings toward people from other social groups, and their self-image. Using an empirical phenomenological qualitative design, in-depth interviews were conducted with adults who participated in Fresh Air Fund (FAF) initiatives in their childhood years as urban guests in rural homes. Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Theory (1979) grounded this study and provided the framework to make meaning from the participants' reports of their experiences. The study asks the question, "How do adults describe the impact of an intensive childhood cross-race, cross-social class experience on their lives and perspectives?" The report focuses on participants' descriptions, interpretations and critical self-reflection on their experiences (Rossman & Rallis, 2003). Data collection consisted of semi-structured, extended in-depth interviews with twelve adults who participated as children in the FAF. Results indicated a profound effect on all participants' lives with themes of feeling accepted, racial identity/awareness, and exposure to opportunities and larger physical spaces. Positive and negative effects were acknowledged.

KEYWORDS: cross-cultural friendship, transcultural fostering, enrichment opportunities, prejudice, racial identity formation, & children's well-being

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Fontes, Lisa
School: Union Institute and University
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-B 74/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social psychology, Developmental psychology, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Children's well-being, Cross-cultural friendship, Fresh Air Fund, In-group, Out-group, Prejudice, Racial identity formation
Publication Number: 3530491
ISBN: 978-1-267-69203-0
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