Comfort Object Project
About the project.
Comfort Object Project is a collection of stories about people's relationships with their comfort objects. In this project, the criteria set for 'comfort objects' are non-living things that people use to self-soothe, and feel comfortable or secured. Usually, the scent and texture of the object hold a significant value to the process of soothing or comforting its owner. Some people only need their comfort objects during bedtime, while others bring their comfort objects everywhere they go in their day-to-day lives.
While the use of comfort objects is widely known and accepted amongst children, the behaviour is not as well recognized in adolescents and older. This may cause some people to perceive adult comfort-object-users as weird, freaky, or lonely. In reality, around 30%* of adolescents and adults still use comfort objects (and this number may in reality be bigger since many are embarrassed to acknowledge due to the associated stigmas described above).
Through sharing true stories from adolescents and adults who use comfort objects, this project hopes to let comfort object users know that they are not alone, and non-users to reconsider the way they may have perceived the use of comfort object in adolescence and adulthood.
*The amount of adolescents and adults who use comfort objects varies based on research. Tierney found that 35% of British adults slept with a teddy bear. Kalpidou found that 30% of college students still use their transitional object. Stagg and Li found that 27% of Taiwaneese adolescents use a transitional object. Shafii found that 21% of female and 12% of male adolescents in Kentucky use Transitional Objects. Scroll to end of page for the reference details.
Click on an object below to read about them
Information about the comfort objects and their images were obtained from their owners through a google form survey.
All owners have been alerted and agreed for their images and form answers to be used in the project.
If you have participated in this project, but wish to have your object removed, please email me and I will have them removed as soon as possible.
In addition to this online format of the project, I will also have an offline version of the project exhibited soon in Berwick. Stay tuned for more info!
McAfee, Tierney. “35 Percent Of UK Adults Bring Teddy Bears to Bed: Survey.” NBC Connecticut, NBC Connecticut, 4 Apr. 2012, www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/national-international/35-percent-of-uk-adults-bring-their-teddy-bears-to-bed/1924105/.;
SHAFII, TARANEH. “The Prevalence and Use of Transitional Objects: A Study of 230 Adolescents.” Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry, vol. 25, no. 6, 1986, pp. 805–808., doi:10.1016/s0002-7138(09)60199-0. ;
Stagg, Steven D., and Yi Chih Li. “Transitional Object Use, Attachment, and Help‐Seeking Behaviour in Taiwanese Adolescents.” Asian Journal of Social Psychology, vol. 22, no. 2, 2018, pp. 163–171., doi:10.1111/ajsp.12352. ;
Kalpidou, Maria. “Sensory Processing Relates to Attachment to Childhood Comfort Objects of College Students.” Early Child Development and Care, vol. 182, no. 12, 2012, pp. 1563–1574., doi:10.1080/03004430.2011.630733.