Journal of Poetry Therapy

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 3–17 | Cite as

Adolescents’ Use of Imagination in Lower Socioeconomic Environments

  • Nancy M. Wonder
  • Stephen A. Rollin


Imagination is an important skill that has proven to be related to divergent thinking skills, ability to cope with stress, and the expression of emotion. Necessary environmental factors conducive for the development of imagination are privacy, limited television viewing, a role model, and storytelling. Lower socioeconomic youth were interviewed to find the current use of their imagination and what environmental factors had been present in their lives. The interviews revealed that the youth had few environmental factors that would enhance their imaginative ability and most of them spent little time in imaginative activity. Following the interview, the youth in the study, 12- to 15-year-old African American boys and one girl, participated in a psychoeducational intervention aimed at enhancing imagery skills. Pre-post assessment of the intervention indicated significant change (p =.031) in richness of storytelling, evidenced by greater use of concrete images, adjectives, and adverbs. Subjects also reported a greater comfort with imaginative contents. The findings indicate that lower socioeconomic teens benefit from psychoeducational interventions aimed at teaching imagination skills.


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nancy M. Wonder
    • 1
  • Stephen A. Rollin
    • 2
  1. 1.Counseling Psychology at Florida State UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Florida State University in The Counseling Psychology Program in the College of EducationUSA

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