How Love is Perceived by Malaysian Malay Children

Kuang Ching Hei • Maya Khemlani David

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(English, 14 pages)


This paper explores how love is perceived by Malaysian Malay children from two perspectives: parental love and their own expression of love. They were volunteers who agreed to participate in the study. Their ages ranged from 10 to 12 years old and they were school going Malay children. Four questions were posed to gather their written responses. Due to some incomplete answers, a total of 93 sets of data were found to be suitable for analysis. Using the love language categories proposed, data were then categorised accordingly. Findings suggest that majority of the children perceive their parent’s love language as ‘Acts of service’ and ‘Receiving gifts’ and to a small extent, ‘Physical touch’. Similarly, the love language expressed by majority of the Malay children encompass ‘Acts of service’ and ‘Receiving gifts’. This could indicate that the expression of love in a Malaysian Malay context could be influenced by the parenting styles. However, about a quarter of the total responses did not fit into the categories proposed. This implies that the love language of the Malaysian Malay children cannot be completely analysed through a western model and that some cultural differences exist. Due to the small sample, the outcome of this study cannot be generalised but it is an eye opener for parents, psychologists and foreigners alike who may use this information to better understand how the Malaysian Malay family functions. This information could increase a more harmonious interaction among different cultures in the future.





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