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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:

Davis, P. et al. (2014) Children with Imaginary Companions Focus on Mental Characteristics When Describing Their Real-Life Friends (Journal Article)

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:

Fink, E. et al. () Dispositional playfulness in young children: A cross-sectional and longitudinal examination of the psychometric properties of a new child self-reported playfulness scale and associations with social behaviour (Journal Article)

Jester, M. et al. (2016) Differences in Theory of Mind and Pretend Play Associations in Children with and Without Specific Language Impairment (Journal Article)

Abstract:
Date:
January 2016
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
25
Page/s:
24-42
Keyword/s:
Synonyms:
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:
Tags:
Abstract:

Children with specific language impairment (SLI) have difficulty engaging in social pretend play, which cannot be explained exclusively by their deficient language skills. Alternatively, the ability to represent mental states (Theory of Mind [ToM]) might be important in appreciating peers' perspectives during pretend play. This study investigated whether ToM was associated with pretend play abilities in children with and without SLI. Forty-four children (22 with SLI, 22 with typical development [TD]) between 4 and 6 years of age participated in ToM tasks and a dyadic role play activity. Children with SLI performed significantly more poorly on ToM tasks than children with TD; however, there were no significant group differences in children's role play abilities. Partial correlations revealed a positive and significant association between ToM and social pretend play in children with TD but a negative and not significant association in children with SLI. These findings suggest that not all forms and aspects of pretend play require mental representation in order to understand or engage in pretend play. Further, children with SLI may differ in their mental representational abilities from children with TD. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Date:
January 2016
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
25
Page/s:
24-42
Keyword/s:
Synonyms:
  • Pretend play
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

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: