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Results of hospitalized children's contact with fictional narratives

Grant number: 22/05782-6
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: March 01, 2023 - February 28, 2025
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Literature - Literature Theory
Principal Investigator:Márcia Azevedo de Abreu
Grantee:Márcia Azevedo de Abreu
Host Institution: Instituto de Estudos da Linguagem (IEL). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers:José Guilherme de Oliveira Brockington


A team led by G. Brockington examined the impact of children's contact with fictional narratives on their physiological regulation and psychological functions, through the analysis of biomarkers (oxytocin and cortisol), psycholinguistic associations and pain scales. The results were an increase in oxytocin combined with a decrease in the level of cortisol in saliva after a 30-minute storytelling session. Children also reported less pain and used more positive lexical markers when describing their time in the hospital (Brockington, et al., 2021). All these benefits happened without any consideration of textual characteristics of the narratives presented to children. Children's social insertion was not considered, neither was the presence of a storyteller as a mediator in contact with the narrative. This project builds on that research, putting together professionals from the medical field and from literary studies, to examine possible correlations between the following elements: biomarkers (oxytocin, cortisol, ACTH), pain scales, children's social condition, reception condition of narratives, textual and compositional elements of the stories. (AU)

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