ABSTRACT

One of the major ways in which children (and indeed people in general) establish their own personal identity both within and apart from their family is by expressing independent interests and preferences in their own chosen activities, and, through the pursuit of these activities, developing their own expertise of knowledge and of skill. The acknowledgement by others of a personal expertise must be one of the most significant of the ‘reflected appraisals’ which make up the ‘self’ (Sullivan, 1953). For this reason alone it seemed important to investigate those interests which ‘belonged’ to the 11-year-old in the sense that his mother identified them as his.