School for Social Work
Introversion in children, Adjustment (Psychology), Life skills, Qualitative research, Introversion, Childhood, Internalizing behavior, Coping with social challenges
The purpose of this study is to explore the experiences of introversion in childhood. This research seeks to understand how introverted children perceive themselves and how this impacts the way they interact with the world around them. The overarching research question is: how does the experience of being an introverted child impact one’s sense of self? Given the practical and ethical challenges of interviewing actual children, for this qualitative research I interviewed 12 adult self-identified introverts about their childhood experience of being introverted. The design for this research study is qualitative and exploratory. Findings included what being introverted meant to participants and how they coped with feelings of difference academically, behaviorally, and socially. This research fills an important gap in the literature and provides justification for paying closer attention to the unique needs of introverted children to help them feel supported, respected, and valued. The findings about which situations and spaces cause introverted children discomfort can provide important implications that can better inform the work of social workers and teachers who are tasked with the job to support these students.
Schwartz, Leah S., "Childhood experiences of introversion : an exploration of navigating social and academic spaces and ways of coping" (2015). Masters Thesis, Smith College, Northampton, MA.