Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica
Print version ISSN 0102-7972
CAMPOS, Tatiane Neme; DEL PRETTE, Zilda Aparecida Pereira and DEL PRETTE, Almir. Surviving in the streets: social skills and values of children and adolescents. Psicol. Reflex. Crit. [online]. 2000, vol.13, n.3, pp. 517-527. ISSN 0102-7972. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-79722000000300019.
Children and adolescents living in the streets develop values and expectations that may or may not be coherent with their survival strategies. These strategies happen through social interactions, possibly requiring an elaborated repertoire of interpersonal skills. This paper investigated these aspects in a sample of twenty-eight boys living in the streets in an inner city of São Carlos (São Paulo - Brazil). Data were gathered by informal chats, structured interviews and the application of a social skills inventory which were subsequently (organized in both thematic categories of content and in frequency tables). The results showed that: a) the streets are used as place to work more than to live (as home); b) the activities performed by the children performed required interpersonal skills, being more frequent those related to rights defense, negotiation and refusal; c) the boys acknowledge socially accepted values and conducts, establishing their own ethics and presenting expectations of social ascension - mainly by school education - and of overcoming their living conditions. It is discussed the relations among these populations daily reality, their expectations, values and social skills required for coping with these conditions and the rights listed on the Child and Adolescent Brazilian Statute are discussed.
Keywords : Social skills; street children; citizenship; survival strategies.