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Coplan, R. et al. (2014) ‘I want to play alone’: Assessment and correlates of self‐reported preference for solitary play in young children. (Journal Article)

Abstract:

The goal of this study was to develop and validate an interview assessment of preference for solitary activities for use with young children. We also tested the postulation that negative peer experiences would heighten preference for solitude, particularly among young shy children. Participants were N = 193 children (87 boys, 106 girls; Mage = 65.76 mos, SD = 12.68) attending preschools and elementary schools (kindergarten, grade 1) located in south‐eastern Ontario, Canada. Self‐reported preference for solitude was measured with the newly developed Preference for Solitary Play Interview (PSPI). Children also reported their perceived peer acceptance. Mothers provided ratings of children's social withdrawal (shyness and unsociability) and social engagement outside of school, and teachers assessed children's socio‐emotional functioning at school. Among the results, the newly developed PSPI displayed good psychometric properties and evidence of construct/convergent validity. For example, preference for solitary play was positively related to indices of social withdrawal, and negatively associated with social engagement, prosocial behaviour, and perceived peer acceptance. In addition, peer exclusion was found to exacerbate the association between shyness and preference for solitary play. Results are discussed in terms of the assessment and implications of preference for solitude in early childhood. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved). (journal abstract)

Date:
January 2014
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
23
Page/s:
229-238
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Peers play
  • Play assessment
  • Social-emotional
  • Solitary play
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Fasoli, A. (2014) To Play or Not to Play: Diverse Motives for Latino and Euro-American Parent-Child Play in a Children's Museum (Journal Article)

Abstract:

A popular social discourse in the United States is that play is important for children's learning and that parental involvement maximizes play's learning potential. Past research has concluded that parents who hold this view of play are more likely to play with their children than those who do not. This study investigated the prevalence of this view among Euro-American and immigrant Latino parents of young children in order to illuminate the extent to which it uniquely and uniformly motivates parent-child play. Parents' models of play were assessed through interviews and naturalistic observations in a children's museum. Analysis revealed ethnic group differences in parent-child play that corresponded with parental beliefs about play. Within-group analysis, however, revealed diversity in the ways that these play behaviours and beliefs came together to comprise parents' models of play. Discussion focuses on the social nature of play, the dynamic nature of culture, and the issue of individual subject validity. Implications for the interpretation of parent--child play in early childhood settings are considered.

Date:
January 2014
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
23
Page/s:
605-621
Synonyms:
  • Parent/Guardian play
  • Play assessment
Relevant age group/s:

Nielsen, M. et al. (2008) Adult modelling facilitates young children's generation of novel pretend acts (Journal Article)

Abstract:

The present work investigated the effect of modelling on children's pretend play behaviour. Thirty-seven children aged between 27 and 41 months were given 4 min of free play with a dollhouse and associated toy props (pre-modelling phase). Using dolls, an experimenter then acted out a series of vignettes involving object substitutions, imaginary play and attribution of properties. Children were subsequently provided with an additional 4 min free play (post-modelling phase). Consistent with past research, more pretence was exhibited after modelling than before. Furthermore, in the post-modelling phase, children were as likely to generate their own novel pretence as they were to copy the actions demonstrated by the experimenter. They also increased the number of novel symbolic acts involving imaginary play from the pre- to the post-modelling phase. This study highlights how young children will not only imitate a model's demonstration of pretend acts but also use this demonstration to catalyze the creation of their own pretence. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Date:
January 2008
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
17
Page/s:
151–162
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Free play
  • Learning
  • Pretend play
  • Social cognition
  • Social-emotional
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline: