Developing a methodology for assessing children's preferences for nonresidential interior spaces

Ann Dickson, Allison Carll White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: The focus of this study was to develop a methodology for the assessment of the environmental preferences of 10-year-old children for public interior spaces. A pilot study using the methodology developed was conducted on 31 10-year old children. RESEARCH DESIGN: The methodology developed included three instruments: a Slide Preference Test to determine overall preference; a Semantic Differential Scale to determine influential factors in defining preference; and the use of the School-Age Temperament Inventory (McClowry, 1995) to determine the relationship between temperament and preference. ANALYSIS: Data from the pilot study were analyzed using descriptive statistics, factor, and cluster analysis, and T-tests to determine overall preference and the relationship that gender, temperament, or room function has with preference. KEY FINDINGS: Children prefer spaces that are visually rich. Further, it appears that preference for interior spaces is related to the concepts of comfort, safeness, and friendliness. Minor differences in preference were found based on gender, while the pilot study revealed more significant differences in preference based on temperament. CONCLUSION: Based on the findings of the pilot study, some revisions in the methodology are recommended. With these minor changes, the methodology will be ready for use on a broader and more diverse population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-44
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Interior Design
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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