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Bates, B. et al. (2015) Measures of outdoor play and independent mobility in children and youth: A methodological review (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Objectives
Declines in children's outdoor play have been documented globally, which are partly due to heightened restrictions around children's independent mobility. Literature on outdoor play and children's independent mobility is increasing, yet no paper has summarized the various methodological approaches used. A methodological review could highlight most commonly used measures and comprehensive research designs that could result in more standardized methodological approaches.
Design
Methodological review.
Methods
A standardized protocol guided a methodological review of published research on measures of outdoor play and children's independent mobility in children and youth (0–18 years). Online searches of 8 electronic databases were conducted and studies included if they contained a subjective/objective measure of outdoor play or children's independent mobility. References of included articles were scanned to identify additional articles.
Results
Twenty-four studies were included on outdoor play, and twenty-three on children's independent mobility. Study designs were diverse. Common objective measures included accelerometry, global positioning systems and direct observation; questionnaires, surveys and interviews were common subjective measures. Focus groups, activity logs, monitoring sheets, travel/activity diaries, behavioral maps and guided tours were also utilized. Questionnaires were used most frequently, yet few studies used the same questionnaire. Five studies employed comprehensive, mixed-methods designs.
Conclusions
Outdoor play and children's independent mobility have been measured using a wide variety of techniques, with only a few studies using similar methodologies. A standardized methodological approach does not exist. Future researchers should consider including both objective measures (accelerometry and global positioning systems) and subjective measures (questionnaires, activity logs, interviews), as more comprehensive designs will enhance understanding of each multidimensional construct. Creating a standardized methodological approach would improve study comparisons.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2015
Volume:
18
Page/s:
545-552
Synonyms:
  • Literature review
  • Outdoor play
  • Physical health
  • Physical play
  • Well-being outcomes
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Brockman, R. et al. (2010) The contribution of active play to the physical activity of primary school children (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Objective
To examine associations between active play and the physical activity of 10- to 11-year-old children.
Method
Cross-sectional study of 747, 10- tot11-year-olds, conducted between February 2008 and March 2009 in Bristol, UK. Mean minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and mean activity levels (counts per minute, CPM) were assessed by accelerometer. Frequency of active play was self-reported.
Results
Regression models indicated that frequent active play (5 or more days per week) was associated with mean daily activity levels (CPM) (girls: p = < 0.01; boys: p = <0.01), but was only associated with mean daily MVPA for girls (p = < 0.01). For leisure-time physical activity, active play was associated with children's CPM (girls: p = 0.02; boys: p = < 0.01) and MVPA (girls: p = < 0.01; boys: p = 0.03) on weekdays after school, but was only associated with weekend day CPM for boys (p =<0.01).
Conclusion
Active play is associated with children's physical activity with after-school potentially being a critical period. Strategies to promote active play may prove to be a successful means of increasing children's physical activity.

Date:
January 2010
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
51
Page/s:
144-147
Synonyms:
  • Free play
  • Outdoor play
  • Physical health
  • Physical play
  • Well-being outcomes
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Dender, A. et al. (2011) Development of the Indigenous Child-Initiated Pretend Play Assessment: Selection of play materials and administration (Journal Article)

Abstract:

BACKGROUND/AIM: There is a need for culturally appropriate assessments for Australian Indigenous children. This article reports the selection of culturally appropriate and gender-neutral play materials, and changes in administration identified to develop further the Indigenous Child-Initiated Pretend Play Assessment (I-ChIPPA).
METHOD: Twenty-three typically developing children aged four to six years from the Pilbara region in Western Australia participated in the study. Children were presented with four sets of play materials and frequency counts were recorded for each time the child used one of the play materials in a pretend play action. Twelve of the 23 children came to play in pairs.
RESULTS: Both boys and girls used the Pilbara toy set including the dark coloured dolls and Pilbara region animals, more frequently than the standardised play materials from the Child-Initiated Pretend Play Assessment (ChIPPA).
CONCLUSION: This study reports the first steps in the development of the I-ChIPPA. Future development will include the refinement of the administration and scoring with pairs of children, and then validity testing the assessment.

Date:
January 2011
Volume:
58
Page/s:
34-42
Synonyms:
  • Cultural context
  • Object play
  • Play assessment
  • Pretend play
  • Symbolic play
Relevant age group/s:

Fallon, J. et al. (2013) Free play time of children with learning disabilities in a noninclusive preschool setting: An analysis of play and nonplay behaviours. (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Some children with disabilities go to special preschools where adults help them play. The adults who work in preschools sometimes ask occupational therapists for advice to help children play more. Occupational therapists need to know how children play when not helped by adults. This study videoed children playing both with lots of toys and without toys to see how they chose to play. Within the Republic of Ireland, young children with learning disabilities may attend special preschools where they do not share any part of their day with typically developing children. Within these settings, preschool staff support children's play. Clinicians such as occupational therapists may be called upon to assist in progressing their play. To provide appropriate recommendations, occupational therapists must have a clear understanding of what play a child with learning disabilities engages in when not supported by adults. Occupational therapy literature described play as the most common occupation of children with a focus on process‐driven activity. This may be at odds with a model of early intervention, where play is often product‐driven, with the end goal in mind. The aim of this research was to establish what free play, if any, children with learning disabilities engage in when not supported by adults in an Irish preschool setting. Secondly, this study sought to describe what behaviours these children engage in when they were not playing. Finally, this study sought to establish inter‐rater reliability of the Revised Know Preschool Play Scale with this small sample. Systematic observation was used to explore the play and nonplay behaviours of the children involved. A convenience sample was used to identify five children to participate in the study. Results indicated that children engaged in free play within the sensory motor stage of development, as assessed using the Revised Knox Preschool Play Scale. They also spent significant time in nonplay behaviours. The behaviour patterns of the children and time spent in different activities were explored. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved). (journal abstract)

Author/s:
Date:
January 2013
Volume:
41
Page/s:
212-219
Synonyms:
  • Atypical development
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Engagement
  • Exploratory play
  • Free play
  • Object play
  • Playfulness
  • Pretend play
  • Social-emotional
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Fearn, M. et al. (2012) Play as a Resource for Children Facing Adversity: An Exploration of Indicative Case Studies (Journal Article)

Abstract:

In this paper, we suggest that the ability and opportunity to play affords children a natural resource to meet intellectual and emotional challenge. Analysis of case studies focusing on interventions with children caught in the bombing of Beirut, children abandoned to the state system in Romania, and the street children in Rio de Janeiro and Cali is used to support this view. When resources are in deficit, challenge is more likely to become adversity. The impact of adversity is particular to context, but comparison across contexts also shows connections between children’s disparate experiences. Analysis confirms that given the opportunity, children interact with and influence their environment through play and that this process provides a resource to meet the challenge of adversity.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2012
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
26
Page/s:
456-468
Synonyms:
  • Exploratory play
  • Games with rules
  • Mental health
  • Pretend play
  • Socio-economic background
  • Well-being outcomes
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Feda, D. et al. (2012) Effect of increasing the choice of active options on children's physically active play (Journal Article)

Abstract:

bjectives: To determine whether increasing the choice of physical activity options increases the duration and intensity of children's physically active play. Design: This cross-sectional laboratory study included gender (male and female) and choice group [single toy (no choice), three toys (low choice), five toys (high choice)] as between participant factors. Methods: Boys and girls (. n=. 36, 8-12. y) were stratified, randomly assigned to a choice group that always provided access to each participant's most liked active toy(s), and allowed 60. min of free time. The same sedentary alternatives were freely available to all participants. Physical activity outcomes were measured by accelerometry, heart rate, and direct observation. Results: The number of active toys the children played with increased (. p<. 0.001) across each choice group. Minutes spent in MPA were greater in the low choice (. p<. 0.05) and high choice (. p<. 0.02) groups than the no choice group. Active playtime was greater (. p<. 0.01) in the low choice (79%) and high choice (95%) groups compared to the no choice group. Girls in the low and high choice groups had greater (. p<. 0.05) percent heart rate reserve when compared to girls in the no choice group. There was no difference in the boys' percent heart rate reserve between the no choice, low choice and high choice groups. Conclusions: Increasing the choice of active toys increases both the duration and intensity of physically active play, especially in girls. © 2011 Sports Medicine Australia.

Date:
January 2012
Volume:
15
Page/s:
334-340
Synonyms:
  • Experimental
  • Free play
  • Object play
  • Physical health
  • Physical play
  • Well-being outcomes
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Ginsburg, K. et al. (2007) The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Please click on the link provided below to read the abstract.

Date:
January 2007
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
119
Page/s:
182-191
Synonyms:
  • Exploratory play
  • Free play
  • Literature review
  • Mental health
  • Physical health
  • Well-being outcomes
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Gray, P. (2011) The decline of play and the rise of psychopathology in children and adolescents (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Over the past half century, in the United States and other developed nations, children’s free play with other children has declined sharply. Over the same period, anxiety, depression, suicide, feelings of helplessness, and narcissism have increased sharply in children, adolescents, and young adults. This article documents these historical changes and contends that the decline in play has contributed to the rise in the psychopathology of young people. Play functions as the major means by which children (1) develop intrinsic interests and competencies; (2) learn how to make decisions, solve problems, exert self-control, and follow rules; (3) learn to regulate their emotions; (4) make friends and learn to get along with others as equals; and (5) experience joy. Through all of these effects, play promotes mental health. Key words: anxiety; decline of play; depression; feelings of helplessness; free play; narcissism; psychopathology in children; suicide

Author/s:
Date:
January 2011
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
3
Page/s:
443–463
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Free play
  • Literature review
  • Mental health
  • Social-emotional
  • Well-being outcomes
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Holt, N. et al. (2008) Neighborhood and developmental differences in children's perceptions of opportunities for play and physical activity (Journal Article)

Abstract:

The purposes of this study were to examine perceptions of places to play and be physically active among children from two different urban neighborhoods, and evaluate these perceptions for age-related developmental differences. One hundred and sixty-eight children from grades K-6 (aged 6–12 years old) completed mental maps depicting places where they could play and be physically active. The children were recruited from schools in two neighborhoods—one a high-walkability (H-W) grid-style neighborhood, the other a low-walkability (L-W) lollipop-style (i.e., cul-de-sacs) neighborhood. Analysis revealed that children in the H-W neighborhood depicted more active transportation and less non-active transportation than children in the L-W neighborhood. Children in the lowest grades (K-2) in the L-W neighborhood depicted more play in the home/yard environment than the oldest children, more good weather image events than children in Grades 3–6, and less play outside the home/yard environment than children in Grades 3 and 4. In the H-W neighborhood, the youngest children (K-2) depicted significantly less play in the home/yard environment and less play outside the home/yard environment than older children (Grades 3–6). Thus, both the type of urban neighborhood and children's age moderated perceptions of places to play and be physically active.

Date:
January 2008
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
14
Page/s:
2-14
Synonyms:
  • Outdoor play
  • Physical health
  • Physical play
  • Playground
  • Well-being outcomes
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Hyndman, B. (2015) Where to Next for School Playground Interventions to Encourage Active Play? An Exploration of Structured and Unstructured School Playground Strategies (Journal Article)

Abstract:

An emerging public health priority is to enhance children’s opportunities for active play. Children spend a large proportion of weekdays in schools, making schools an influential and suitable setting to promote children’s active play. Rather than continually increasing the burdens placed upon busy teaching staff, the use of school playground interventions have emerged as a critical strategy within schools to facilitate and develop children’s active play via an informal curriculum. This scholarly article provides a research-based commentary on a range of school playground interventions to encourage both structured and unstructured active play opportunities. Additionally, future research directions for school playground research to encourage children’s active play will be discussed. Teachers, educational leaders, designers, researchers and play professionals can consider the findings from this article for future school playground intervention and planning to facilitate children’s active play within school playgrounds.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2015
Volume:
8
Page/s:
56-67
Synonyms:
  • Free play
  • Games with rules
  • Literature review
  • Outdoor play
  • Physical health
  • Physical play
  • Playful learning
  • Playground
  • Well-being outcomes
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline: