An exploratory study on the significance of letter writing as a helping tool for young adolescents

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An exploratory study on the significance of letter writing as a helping tool for young adolescents


Author: Cheng, Siu-ni Morra
Title: An exploratory study on the significance of letter writing as a helping tool for young adolescents
Year: 2000
Subject: Teenagers -- Counseling of -- China -- Hong Kong
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Applied Social Sciences
Pages: 88, [6] leaves ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: The objectives of this study are to find out the motivating factors which facilitate the young adolescents using letter writing to express themselves or to seek help from a stranger - Uncle Long Leg. After a period of letter writing experience, I would like to explore what they can get from this unique writing experience. The study has adopted a qualitative research methodology. The interviewees are selected from those young adolescents writing to Uncle Long Leg Letterbox which is organized by the Hong Kong Evangelical Lutheran Church Children and Youth Service. Five children are interviewed by semi-structured questions. Their mothers are also invited to have interviews for triangulation purpose. Other than that, their letters are also categorized as part of the findings in this research. The findings of the research shows that the young adolescents writing to Uncle Long Leg because they are lack of sharing targets in their social circle. The push factors such as their negative experiences on sharing personal issue with the significant others hamper them to disclose themselves. Boredom is also another factor motivating them to write. Besides, their interest in letter writing has also contributed them to write to Uncle Long Leg Letter Box. Simultaneously, the attractions of the format of letter writing and the positive image of Uncle Long Leg have demonstrated as the pull factors for their letter writing. From the writing experience, it is generally found that the young adolescents have gained certain degree of personal growth, relational growth and writing skills improvement. However, due to the lack of resources and manpower, late reply from Uncle Long Leg is the crucial comment of the interviewees towards the project. Since much time is needed to write and mail, letter writing had its limitation to offer immediate help for the young adolescents to solve their problem. To compensate for the embarrassment of face-to-face counseling, the format of letter writing with client-centered approach of intervention may be one of the alternate helping tools for facilitating the young adolescents to have more self-disclosure. Since the format of letter writing in more confidential, it also encourage them to try to seek help from others. Although in 21st century, people seldom take up their pens to write letters. E-mails or ICQ has been the modern way of communication between each other. Uncle Long Leg Letterbox seems to be an opposite trend. In fact, the value of this letterbox is to remind each of us sincere and humanistic personal touch is still the essential growth ingredient to every human being, especially to our children. Our next generation is still in need of our love, care and understanding even though in this hi-technology era.

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