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art-based inquiry, children, lay beliefs, social networks, qualitative research



  1. Driessnack, Martha


Background: The Colored Eco-Genetic Relationship Map (CEGRM) is a hybridized assessment tool that combines the ecomap, the family genogram, and the genetic pedigree to produce a unique, participant-generated picture of an individual's social networks, information exchange patterns, and sources of support. To date, the CEGRM has been used successfully with adults, providing insights into their social networks and the communication patterns they use in the update and exchange of health-related information.


Objective: To explore the feasibility and the utility of adapting elements of the CEGRM for use with children.


Methods: Twenty children, 7 to 10 years of age, distributed by gender, socioeconomic status, and geographic heritage, participated in one-on-one sessions in which they created modified CEGRMs using adapted art directives. A qualitative descriptive design and approach to analysis were used.


Results: Children were able to create a modified CEGRM, and resultant discussions provided considerable insights. A focused analysis revealed a kaleidoscope of social networks being accessed by today's children as well as surprising information exchange sources and patterns. Although all the children included one parent, family composition varied. Extended family, other adults, peers, and media sources were not only prevalent but also often preferred over the nuclear family as sources of health information. Of particular interest, mothers were rarely identified as children's primary source of health-related information.


Discussion: Elements of the CEGRM are adapted easily for use with children using children's drawings and may prove to be an effective, adjunctive assessment and interventional tool for parents, researchers, educators, and providers working with young children.