Photos displayed around the home boost self-image and self-esteem
Posted Sep 15 2010 3:37am
A colleague sent me this article which first appeared on the online magazine Newborn to Teenin February last year. I thought how true it was for older people, too.
When people go into care homes, they rarely have more than a few of their personal items with them. Their family photographs are a key part of their histories and having them with them connects them to their loved ones as well as the rich treasure trove of their memories and personal stories. It seems that the enjoyment and pleasure that family photographs provide stems partly from their early childhood experiences.
With minor edits, here is the article:
UK is a nation obsessed with keeping loved ones close, with 78 per cent of us
keeping between one and fifteen pictures of our nearest and dearest around the
However, those who have grown up without photos in the home are less
likely to go on to display any of their own children presently, which could in
fact be damaging their children’s image of self as they mature.
Geoff Beattie, Head of School and Dean of Psychological Sciences at the
University of Manchester, says that photography in the home makes children feel
valued and gives them a rich understanding of where they come from. Children
whose parents display family photographs in the home grow up with greater
confidence and sense of belonging than those who don’t, according to a top
conducted by Venture New Generation Portraits found that the number of
photographs parents display of their children today is heavily influenced by
how many photos of themselves they remember in their homes when growing up.
Beattie said: “We cannot underestimate the power of photographs to keep us
feeling linked to others and belonging. They cement us into our networks, “For
children in particular, looking at photographs is part of the socialising
process; learning who you are and where you fit into the family. By displaying
photographs of our children at different stages of their lives, we are making a
very public statement that we are proud of them.”
majority of parents questioned (83 per cent) had a favourite photo and of
those, 58 per cent said it was taken with family, a partner or another loved
one, and 45 per cent said it reminded them of a happy time. Professor
Beattie adds: “It’s very significant that the two reasons people give for
loving a particular photograph is that it reminds them of a happy time taken
with family. These things are so important to us.”
survey found that 38 per cent of those who grew up with no photos in the house
now don’t display family photographs in their own homes Professor
Beattie said: “I have always been dismayed that there weren’t more photographs
of my childhood. There’s nothing sadder than searching for an old picture which
isn’t there. When children grow up surrounded by photographs, it gives them a
richer understanding of where they come from, which helps with confidence. I
have done a lot of research into how important it is to be reminded of the
past, and photographs are a brilliant way of doing that.
recently, people often thought of photographs as almost trivial, but actually
they are an incredibly important way of connecting with our sense of self, with
each other and with times gone by.” Previous
research by Venture has also found that 71 per cent of parents thought that
having pictures displayed around the home boosts a child’s self-image and
self-esteem, with 90 per cent stating that they believe children to be more
aware of their own image than 10 years ago.
Source: Newborn to Teen
Image: Matt Groening, Fox Broadcasting Company / Comedy Central