Taking a Look at Imaginary Companions

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The article, Imaginary Companions, Creativity, and Self-Image in Middle Childhood by Eva Hoff investigates four questions: First, whether there is a relationship between imaginary companions and creative potential; second, whether children with negative self-images are more likely to have imaginary companions; third, whether there are gender-differences among those children who have imaginary companions; and, finally, what aspects of imaginary companions and what characteristics of those who invent them are related to creativity (Hoff 2005). The measurements used were a questionnaire about imaginary companions, 3 estimates of creative potential, and a self-image inventory. The participants were 69 fourth graders (35 girls and 34 boys) in six classes at three Swedish schools, with somewhat different demographic profiles, but with the majority from middle class homes. A subgroup of 26 children (16 girls and 10 boys), comprising all children with imaginary companions from four classes, were given a more thorough questionnaire and interviewed about their companions. In the second wave of data collection, when an imaginary companion questionnaire was given to the children, two classes from the original sample dropped out because their teachers could not spare that extra time. In this study the variables are creativity, self-image, gender, style of defense, identification patterns, waiting ability, and creativity. Half of the fourth graders in this study reported having

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