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Volume 2 Issue 4 (November 1999), Pages 387-494

Young Children’s Recognition and Description of Their Own and Others’ Drawings (pages 476-489)

In the present study, we examined the symbolic content of 3‐ to 6‐year‐old children’s drawings. In Experiment 1A, children were asked to draw and their ability to recognize and describe their drawings was assessed following a delay. Three‐ to 4‐year‐olds and 5‐ to 6‐year‐olds recognized and provided consistent descriptions of their drawings after delays as long as 3 months and 6 months, respectively. In Experiment 1B, 5‐ to 6‐year‐olds recognized their drawings after a 1 year delay; the accuracy of their descriptions, however, decreased over the same delay. In Experiment 2, children accurately recognized and described not only their own drawings but also drawings that had been produced by another child. We conclude that young children can glean symbolic information from their own drawings and the drawings of others even when the actual graphic products are extremely lean or abstract.

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