In Brazil, despite constitutional prohibition of labour before 16 years and absence of law that sets limits to protect the young artist health, court orders have authorised children and adolescents participation in artistic productions, based on the international standard and the judge´s subjective criteria.
The study aims to describe and analyse the young artist activity and its possible impact on the child´s development, according to the reports from such youth and their parents.
This qualitative exploratory research collected data using 25 individual interviews: 10 junior artists, aged between 10–13, and their mothers, in semi-structured individual interviews. Open mode Interviews were conducted with 5 adult professional of artistic segment working with child artists. This survey also made 3 days of observation in soap opera backstage with characters being played by children.
The results show that child participation in the artistic segment have characteristics of labour and that there is no special care to adapt the production process observed to the young artist needs; relationships are established in atmosphere of pressure, competition and vanity, and the accompanying mothers are aware of the presence of risks. Bio-psycho-social health effects have been reported both, positively: increased self-esteem, improved learning skills, higher culture acquisition; and negatively: low self-esteem, elevated self-criticism, poor nutrition, sleep disorders, deficits in school performance and damages to relationships.
The law is often disregarded due to lack of court permits or due to accompanying parent is not allowed to remain in set to supervise the child during testing, recording or presentation.
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